Cricket

Alistair Cook faces his biggest test against Australia

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Alistair Cook has been given a chance to make up for his failure last time down-under with another captaincy for the Ashes this summer.

Done Again

Unfortunately for England, he has not yet grasped the opportunity with both hands. After reaching 20 on day one of the first test, he was caught behind from an innocuous ball by Nathan Lyon. 

In fairness to the batsman he was trying to be aggressive and lead from the front, but that has not always been his game.

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Patience Needed

More important than scoring runs quickly at the beginning is to build something solid for the following batsmen to stand on. He needs to play the patient waiting game and encourage confidence within the rest of his teammates. 

It's all about choosing the right moment to attack in the early stages. If Cook were to defend every single ball then the effect would be negative for the rest of his team just as it would be for him to lose an easy wicket.

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What England require from their captain is a steady innings that contains balance and good decision-making.

If he is able to be this kind of a role model for the rest of the team, as he was back when he last won the Ashes on home turf, England will have a much greater chance of winning the series. The alternative of Cook continuing to struggle in making runs and building a platform for success could result in the final nail in his coffin.

He is under pressure to perform already, pressure that will be greatly eased by a win against England's biggest rivals. This is his last chance.

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