Captain Cook keen to explore new territory
Fresh from leading England to a first Test series triumph in India for 28 years, Alastair Cook is determined to launch a new era for the one-day side by breaking further new ground on the sub-continent.
England have beaten the 50-over world champions just once in their last 18 one-day internationals in India dating back to 2002, losing the last three away series 5-1, 5-0 and 5-0.
Cook, who was captain for the whitewash in 2011, returns to India knowing it is vital that he forms a quick and effective relationship with England’s new limited-overs coach Ashley Giles.
Giles has taken over the one-day and Twenty20 international reins from Andy Flower, allowing England’s team director to focus on the Test team and the imminent Ashes series against Australia.
Cook believes England’s job-share arrangement will have a positive impact on the side as they prepare for a mighty challenge.
“This is unknown territory. We haven’t done it before. It is a bit like the three captains. It was new and I thought it worked really well because of the energy the captains brought to their side,” Cook said.
“I can see this working the same way on the coaching side. We are going to have to work very hard on the relationship. I am sure as we get used to it the relationship will improve and I have no worries about it working well.”
England begin their tour with two warm-up games, on Sunday and Tuesday, before they face India in a five-match one-day international series, starting a week on Friday.
“Every time you start a tour it is a huge challenge,” Cook continued. “When I sat here two and a half months ago I said winning a Test series in India would be a great achievement.
“To do that was a great effort by our whole squad and our whole team. Sport moves on very quickly and India in their own backyard as a one-day team is another huge challenge for us as a side.
“We lost there 5-0 last time so it would be a really good measure of us as a side. I think we have a squad capable of doing something very special.”
Cook first knew Giles as a player after he was called into England squad in Pakistan in 2005.
“He was a senior citizen of the side when I first went to Pakistan,” Cook said. “He was really good to me. He was kind of called ‘the Dad’ in one way. He was that gel in the middle of the team, always looking after players.
“He had a very strong relationship with Duncan Fletcher as well and he was the bridge between some of the players and him.
“I assume he will carry on that relationship with players as a coach. He has a fantastic coaching record. Everyone who has worked with him speaks very highly of him.
“I am really looking forward to our coach and captain relationship growing. We all know how strong that needs to be. I am looking forward to getting stuck in and moving on again with England with a different coach.”
Since Giles' appointment, Russell Domingo has taken over as South Africa’s Twenty20 coach and Cook believes the job share arrangement will fast become the norm for international coaches.
“I think more and more sides will do it because of the huge volume of cricket,” Cook said. “You can look at it another way - we have added another coach with great expertise which is brilliant for us.”