Cook closes in on MVP glory
Test and one-day international captain Alastair Cook is on course to claim England’s winter FTI MVP crown.
Cook holds a 15-point lead over nearest rival Steven Finn ahead of the final Test with New Zealand in Auckland, England’s final engagement of the winter.
The left-handed opener has scored 1,040 runs across all forms this winter, 705 of those coming in Tests with the aid of four centuries. In the five-day matches against India and New Zealand, Cook has thus far reached three figures every time he has passed 41.
He has never won the overall FTI MVP title but is now on the verge of success, having contributed 21% of England’s five-day runs in the last six months.
Finn has 30 winter scalps across all forms, putting him level with Graeme Swann as England’s most prolific wicket-taker, and has also benefited from a Test-best 57 with the bat in the first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin.
Should he overhaul Cook, it would be no mean feat given he only featured in one of the Tests with India.
Given the vagaries of selection and fitness, the points-per-game average is a useful tool when comparing players.
It is worth bearing in mind that more points are usually accrued in Test cricket with its two-innings format and the conditions across a series will impact players differently depending on their skill-sets.
The list is headed by Monty Panesar, who has scored 19.32 points-per-game this winter, followed by Swann (14.56), James Anderson (14.03), Cook (13.53), Jonathan Trott (12.82) and Nick Compton - whose successive hundreds have left him with an average of 12.50 points-per-game.