Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Will Put Ashes Woe Behind Him, Says Coach

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cook Will Put Ashes Woe Behind Him, Says Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent

ALASTAIR COOK has taken only two days to convince his county coach Paul Grayson that he will have a spectacular summer for England.

Cook's captaincy credentials have been questioned after a nightmare winter in Australia, during which England were whitewashed 5-0 in the Ashes and won only one of their 10 international matches under his leadership, losing the other nine.

The winter placed a great strain on Cook and when he returned, he played a decisive part in the sacking of Kevin Pietersen. Yet, after working with Cook during his first two practice sessions of the new season last week, Grayson is certain the 29-year-old opening batsman has the same desire for the Test series against Sri Lanka and India.

"The winter was a tough time for him, everyone knows that," Grayson told Standard Sport. "He went through a lean spell but I think he had to deal with some absolutely brilliant deliveries.

"Like a lot of the England players, he was bit of short of confidence but now he seems fresh and he is looking forward to getting back training at Essex.

"A few things have happened since he got back, it's time to move on with a few things and I think you'll see a really determined Alastair Cook this year, scoring loads of runs for England.

"He was in again on Friday he is hungry to get back working at his game. He is a very fit man and he's in good condition. He had a session for about an hour on Friday, hitting some balls.

"He'll be with us pre-season on March 10. He's indicated he wanted to hit as many balls as he can on the grass nets when we start, which is good for us and great for him, and we're hoping we'll have him for four County Championship matches."

Cook was rested for the current limited-overs tour of the West Indies, which precedes the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, starting on March 16. Stuart Broad is leading England for these matches but Cook should regain the helm for the oneday international against Scotland on May 9. His first game for Essex this summer is likely to be the three-day fixture against Cambridge University at Fenner's, which starts on April 7. …

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