Embarking on his maiden full-fledged tour as the England skipper, Alastair Cook realises the enormity of his assignment. But having captained England in the limited-over variants, he believes he can fulfill the demands of skippering a Test side in an arduous expedition to the subcontinent, wherein few English captains have emerged with pride untarnished.
Relaxed and upfront in the press conference, Cook insists his approach would be positive from the outset. “I won’t be doing anything different from what I’ve been doing in one-dayers. We will go on the offensive from the start. I’m obviously excited and a touch nervous, but proud to be leading England. Whatever happens over the next Test match, I hope to do a good job in the long run,” he specified.
Straightaway under scrutiny is the reintegration process of Kevin Pietersen. “As a captain it is great to have a world-class batsman like him in the team. He can change the game very quickly like he did in Colombo, win matches for us in a manner not many people in the world can do. The process, in my eyes is finished. It is great to have Kev back and the whole side has adapted to the situation, to what has happened in the last two months. We’ve had to drive a line under it and we’ve moved on. What I don’t want to change is his confidence, his swagger when he bats because that’s what has made him such a great player,” he underlined.
The three warm-up games, he insists, have been vital. “We’re ready, that’s the reason why we came here three weeks in advance. It is for the first time since we’ve had three practice games. We’d have liked to face more quality spinners but we can’t control that. But we can deal with whatever that is thrown at us,” he averred.
As with any England skipper, his chemistry with the coach is perennially inspected. “I have been lucky enough to play withAndy Flower and we have always had a good relationship. I have the utmost respect for him. He knows exactly what he wants,” he reflected.