Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Having already inherited Andrew Strauss' one-day captaincy, Alastair Cook has now set his sights of replicating his predecessor's style at the top of the order। With Strauss now focusing on Test cricket, Cook will lead the side against Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at The Oval this afternoon and, in the process, earn his first ODI cap in over 15 months। His absence from the limited-overs set-up was due to uncertainty over whether he can adapt sufficiently to the faster-paced one-day arena. He has played just 26 ODIs compared to 68 Tests and, if not for his leadership credentials, may not have been given the chance to add to that number. Now he hopes to expand his game in the same way Strauss did when he was installed as one-day captain. "I think Straussy's a great example for me," said Cook. "When he first started playing one-day cricket I think he had a strike-rate of about 65, maybe 70. Towards the end his career strike-rate was up to 80. "You can evolve, you can improve and he certainly did that. Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps." Despite his imperious form in the longer format, detractors remain over his suitability for 50-over cricket - notably another former England captain, Mike Atherton. The Essex opener believes his efforts in Bangladesh in his last stint in the one-day set-up - when he produced scores of 64 and 60 at virtually a run a ball - show he can prove them wrong. "In Bangladesh I scored runs and I scored them quickly. I know I have the talent and the skills to do it," Cook added. "I'm nowhere near the finished article and as a 26-year-old I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm prepared to do it. "Everybody is entitled to their opinion. But I've scored a one-day hundred for England. I know I can score runs at the top of the order and I'm excited that I'm in a good place to go and show that." James Anderson and Jonathan Trott rejoin the squad that was routed by Sri Lanka in Saturday's Twenty20, with Tim Bresnan also added after recovering from a calf injury. For the tourists, today is a chance to say farewell to the legendary Sanath Jayasuriya. The 41-year-old will play his 445th and final ODI on the day after it was announced interim coach Stuart Law is leaving to take over Bangladesh. Thilina Kandamby admitted the pair would be a major loss. "Stuart Law has been good for us, especially in England because he has played a lot here," he said. "We have had a lot of good discussions with him and we will be sad and miss him. "Sanath is one of the biggest legends we have ever produced, probably the best one-day player we have had in our country, if he gets a hundred that would be the best farewell he can get."

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