Cook: I'll do it my way
Alastair Cook insists he will be “true to himself” during what he hopes will be a long and successful spell in charge of the England one-day team.
The 26-year-old was yesterday confirmed as captain of the 50-over side, replacing Andrew Strauss following his decision to retire from limited-overs cricket.
The announcement came on the day that Stuart Broad took over from Paul Collingwood as Twenty20 skipper.
With Strauss remaining at the Test helm, England become the first nation to boast a different captain in each form of the game.
Cook led England with distinction while deputising for the absent Strauss on the tour of Bangladesh early last year - he oversaw Test and one-day whitewashes - and is keen to make his mark on the team once more following his permanent appointment.
He insists, however, that he will go about things in his own understated manner.
“You have to be true to yourself,” he told ecb.co.uk. “What you saw in Bangladesh, I’ll be trying to build on what I did there.
“I’m not a big shouter and screamer - that’s not my personality. But I’m looking forward to trying to lead with authority and try and get the best out of every player we can.”
Cook’s appointment is another high point in what has been a remarkable six months, following his record-breaking contribution to England’s Ashes triumph in Australia over the winter.
“It’s a huge honour - a privilege to captain England again,” he said. “The Ashes, as a player and a team, were the highlight of my career.
“To be offered this challenge as the one-day captain, it’s a new chapter. Hopefully I can make a good job of it.”
The tour of Bangladesh in 2010 saw Cook win the most recent of his 26 ODI caps, and he was among those who watched from afar as an unpredictable and ultimately disappointing World Cup campaign ended at the quarter-final stage two months ago.
“There are areas we can improve on in every form of the game we play,” he admitted. “You have to try and improve at all times. I’ll be looking to carry that mantra on.
“Andrew Strauss did a fantastic job when he took over the one-day job in 2009; he made some huge strides.
“I’m really excited about the challenge of working with Straussy, Broady and (team director) Andy Flower to keep England moving forward.”
Cook’s most immediate task as captain is the five-match NatWest Series against Sri Lanka starting at the Kia Oval on June 28. With India arriving later in the summer, England face both World Cup finalists in a matter of months.
“It’s going to be an extremely tough start,” he conceded. “They’re both excellent sides.
“It is a tough task, but it’s good to test yourself against the best and see what areas we can build on from there.”
Cook, like Strauss and Broad, has a Test series against Sri Lanka to prepare for first, but he revealed he and Flower have already begun formulating the blueprint for long-term success.
“We have started those discussions,” Cook said. “It’s very early stages - we haven’t got a game for a while - but there will be some more discussions, meetings, to try to work out the best way of moving forward.”