Since becoming Captain of England, Alastair Cook has batted in 18 Test innings and scored 1,669 runs for an average of 52.15 and a strike rate of 45.03. He has had seven centuries, four half centuries, and one duck. His highest score was 190.
Since becoming Captain of Australia, Michael Clarke has batted in 56 Test innings and scored 3,243 runs for an average of 63.58 and a strike rate of 61.64. He has had 12 centuries, seven half centuries, and three ducks. His highest score was 329.
Now this is apples to oranges. Clarke and Cook are two very different batsman. Opening the batting versus coming in at number three is enough of a difference to make this a moot comparison. But I think the fact that Captain Clarke’s average is a full 10 points higher than Captain Cook’s says something: it says that Clarke, as Captain, is doing more to help his team win than Cook is.
Cook’s struggles are not England’s only problem right now. Not by a long shot, but they are one of them. And since he is wearing the armband, his struggles are notable.
When teams struggle, they need their Captain to stand up and put the team on his shoulders. Cook is not doing that. And he hasn’t done that in a long while. He is a fine cricketer and one of my favorites in the game today, but at this point and time, he is letting his team down.
This is Australia’s match to lose. And if they can go two-nil up before the Perth Test then I think the Ashes become Australia’s to lose, as well. Which is just wild when you think about it.
Cricket. Bloody hell.
As they say.