Many of you will say Alastair Cook proved us wrong by hitting 95 off 75 balls against Sri Lanka.
Our point was actually that you shouldn’t open with an anchor in one-day cricket. We say that your sensible batsman, your banker, should come in at three or four.
We kind of assumed that Alastair Cook would always play the anchor role, because up until now, he has. Yet in the fourth one-day international, he didn’t. He played like a proper one-day opener. If he can do that, we’re fine with his opening.
Open, hit the ball, score runs. We’re not against Alastair Cook; we’re against consolidating from the outset.
Playing the situation
Three years ago, we said that Cook would make a one-day cricketer. We said that a batsman who plays according to the situation is a good batsman and just because you only see him in one family of situations (Test cricket) doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it in him to play differently in another environment.
However, most of Cook’s one-day innings thus far have been kind of cloggy. The slog-sweep he brought in seemed like a one-note nod to more expansive cricket. Like a bad husband who brings flowers every week, it had the air of being an apologetic gesture designed to distract from other shortcomings rather than being anything more meaningful.
But this innings was better. We wouldn’t say we’re sold on Cook as a one-day opener, but we’re more impressed with him as a cricketer. He’s broadened his range.
Have we made ‘range’ a thing yet?