England must move on

I know how much Strauss means to them, but now we move on quickly and Alastair Cook takes charge

Neil Fairbrother
England must move on

Andrew Strauss has gone out in an absolutely dignified fashion, which is how he has conducted himself throughout his international cricket career.

Up until 12 months ago, his stats as an opening batsmen were right up there with the best. Clearly, in the last few months, there’s been a dip in form which, he says, has contributed to his decision.

I think the entire dressing room will be very upset because he’s led from the front and more or less all of this team have come through with him as their only captain. I know how much he means to them, but we must move on quickly and Alastair Cook takes charge.

Cook is a young lad who will have lots of enthusiasm and energy to take this team forward. As captain of the ODI side, his batting has improved, so that’s a good pointer.

Often, the first 12-18 months of a captaincy, your play does improve, but he’ll need a good team around him so he can also remain focused on his own game. And the longer he can stay out of the utter politics of it all, the better it will be for everyone.

Cook has been brought up almost exclusively in the Andy Flower-Andrew Strauss environment, so therefore he will be well-versed in how that dressing room runs and I’m not sure there’ll be a massive change in policies. Flower will take things forward and I think he is the major influence.

He already knows the team and the ECB will be hoping the change is a seamless one. This management group has been together for some time with the three captains, so they’ve all been involved in various decision-making.

I thought Strauss spoke very, very well at his press conference. There can be no way that the events of the last ten days, two weeks has not affected him as a player or as a man. Whether it’s ultimately influenced the decision he has made, only he will know.

It’s always very sad when a captain goes. Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, has now seen it three times with Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain. He's become something of an obstacle for the England captain to climb.

Has Strauss made the right decision? It might well have been for him as an individual, but whether it’s the right decision for the England cricket team at this moment, possibly not.

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