Captain Cook prepared for maiden voyage
England’s newly-appointed Test captain Alastair Cook believes the experience he has gained leading the one-day international side will be invaluable in his new role.
The 27-year-old opening batsman will take the reins from recently-retired Andrew Strauss on the tour of India, having won 18 and lost just nine of the 30 games he has captained in 50-over cricket.
However, with five of those nine defeats coming against this winter’s first opponents, Cook knows to expect a difficult start to life as five-day skipper.
“It’s been a really good three weeks,” Cook told ecb.co.uk. “It’s amazing how many people come up to you and congratulate you.
"It’s a honeymoon period when there's no cricket so you can’t get too much criticism. It’s a huge honour but the hard work starts now and I want to focus our minds on a very important 18 months for English cricket.
“It’s a shame that I'm never going to play cricket with Straussy again - I seem to have spent half my life opening the batting with him. But he’s had a fantastic career and he’ll certainly retire with no regrets.
“The 18 months as one-day captain will help. I’m sat here confident in my captaincy ability because Ive had a bit of experience at it. To have learned a little bit of the ropes in the one-day side and done quite well makes me feel a lot more confident now than if I hadn't been one-day captain.
“India have clearly got an amazing home record and that's there for a reason - they’re a tough side to beat on their home patch. We’ve got a big, big challenge ahead of us but we've got 16 players who are desperate to get on that plane and desperate to do well.”
Cook’s party will arrive in Mumbai on October 29, with new faces Nick Compton and Joe Root experiencing their first England tours.
The pair have had outstanding years with the bat for Somerset and Yorkshire respectively, and Cook insists the key to making the step up is to retain the qualities that have brought domestic success.
“You’ve got to enjoy the experience,” he added. “Don’t change the way you play either for Somerset or Yorkshire, just do what you’ve been doing because that’s why you’ve been selected.
“I think Colly [Paul Collingwood] said ‘the ball is still red and it still comes down from 22 yards’.
“The game of cricket doesn’t change and that’s one of the biggest challenges in that environment is to stay true to yourself. I’m sure those guys are capable of doing it.”