27 March 2009

England captaincy, position filled

It seems strange that there is even a modicum of doubt surrounding Andrew Strauss’ future as England captain. True, results have been disappointing, but England have been on a steady downward curve for four years and there can be no doubt that Strauss is the best man to lead the battle to reverse that slide.

This might be partly due to the lack of alternatives, which is hardly a reason in itself to throw full support behind the sole candidate, but there is no point in pretending that Strauss has a rival.

Kevin Pietersen has just been removed from the post and does not want it back, even if a massive U-turn was made; vice-captain Alastair Cook has only just cemented his place in the side after spending the last year under pressure, whilst Paul Collingwood has had an even more extreme struggle to retain his place. He also walked away from the One Day leadership role, admitting to difficulty in coping with the demands of the job.

There is no one else who can possibly lead the Test team. Strauss might not be the natural choice to be One Day and Twenty20 skipper, but the ECB must not be alarmed by his apparent unease in the shorter formats should they consider a return to a split captaincy.

England have been so poor in coloured clothing over recent times that starting from scratch under Strauss is no bad thing. There is no status quo to upset, no plans to redraw. He is also in the form of his life with the bat and proved in the second ODI against West Indies that he can transfer his Test purple patch.

Andy Flower appears certain to be given the coach’s job for the coming year, despite an even closer association with poor results, having been a key man in the Peter Moores era.

If the ECB can see past Flower’s poor record, they should be able to do the same with Strauss. England need stability and Strauss is the man to provide it. Name him skipper for all formats for the 2009 season and let the planning for the ICC World Twenty20 and West home series start with at least key position properly filled.

1 comment:

John said...

Wow. He is on fire today!