Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former England captain Andrew Strauss has announced that his successor, Alastair Cook, has to start carving “a team in his image”.
Strauss’ comments come after England were whitewashed 5-0 by Australia in the last Ashes series.
Cook and the rest of the national team will be looking to bounce back during the first Test against Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to get underway on June 12 at Lord’s.
“He knows this is his moment to carve a team in his image, to foster a new culture in English cricket,” Strauss wrote in his column for The Sunday Times. “The captain also knows such a task would have been nigh on impossible for him to fulfil with the old campaigners still around.”
England have selected pace bowler Chris Jordan, opening batsman Sam Robson and all-rounder Moeen Ali, all three of whom are yet to make their Test debut, for the first Test.
“There is a fundamental difference between selecting a team and building one,” Strauss said. “Eleven individuals sitting around a dressing room do not add up to much. A group of 11 who are driven, motivated and passionate about a common cause are a different proposition. Cook’s job now is to make that transition happen.
“Cook needs to have difficult conversations with his players to make sure the slate is clean to move forward.”
Strauss added that the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka was a “must win” for Cook.
“Anything new, from a car to a relationship, will have a honeymoon period where everything feels perfect, but the bitter taste of defeat or simply the passage of time can quickly erode that utopia,” he said. “The captain will have to show the players he is in it for the long haul, while any victories along the way will suggest his way is working.”