29 August 2012

So what next post Strauss?


I can understand Strauss wanting to go.   With concerns about his form starting to fill his mind rather than tactics, although I'm disappointed he couldn't stay on for another year or so, it's unlikely to dramatically impact England's results.   As an intelligent guy, he leaves with loads of opportunities to go and earn lots of money outside of cricket should he wish to, but it sounds like he wants to stay involved in the game.
Whether Cook is quite ready is perhaps debatable.   I fear his form will dip a little and it seems that players now take on the captaincy knowing that their own personal form will dip.   Hopefully it doesn't all overcome him - he appears level-headed but he's got a tough baptism with India away his first test.   There seem few (or no) other options...can you imagine Stuart Broad leading out England for a Test match?   I certainly can't.
Who should open in India?   What a tough ask, whoever is selected (as it's statistically proven that players playing away for their first Test are less likely to succeed).   I'd go for Michael Carberry myself, but it's a close thing v Joe Root.   Carberry being 32 next month he would have a relatively short Test career even if successful, but my rationale is that Root isn't quite ready yet and those years will allow Root to develop his game.
One final point on Strauss - he has said that his form concerned him, but if England had drawn the series and remained number 1 in the world, I wonder if he would have felt the same?   It's a game of close margins and the drops of Amla and de Villiers in South Africa's 2nd innings didn't help him.   It appears to me that England's out cricket has dropped down several levels recently (2 run outs in the Lords second innings didn't help) and those little mistakes cost them hugely in the 3rd Test.   It draws some comparison with the last South Africa series that saw Vaughan resign, where England dropped nearly 3 times as many catches as South Africa.
In these days of relentless analysis, it wouldn't go amiss for the England analysis team to ensure their captains see those kind of stats and weigh them up before considering their future.
Good luck to Strauss in whatever he does next!
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