Full, just outside off

I know what you’re going to say. You can make any batsman look dreadful – no matter how brilliant they actually were – by stringing together a compilation like this.

You might also ask – why pick on Alastair Cook? And why now, during a period when he’s not even playing?

Well, because I just came across this video. And I couldn’t resist sharing it. The sheer repetitious nature of the clip tells you everything. So much for the ECB laptop and analysing what went wrong.

Of course, it could ‘just be the way he plays’.


    • Changing your technique is an extremely difficult thing to do. Most batsmen learn their technique as teenagers and it never really changes much from then on.

      Sadly, Cooks technique is horrible. His alignment is all wrong and he doesn’t play down the line of the ball. His feet are lined up to play the ball through the off side, his top half is twisted round to play the ball through the leg side. If he was 15 I would identify him as a future 2nd team club player at best.

      Just shows how a limited gameplan can overcome many technical deficiencies. Sadly now he’s been found out…

  • Good lord. You barely see the front foot move. Ever.

    (with a little bit of the heading falling over, as Atherton has pointed out in the past)

    • Even now, after a truly horrific run of form over the last 2 years, Cook’s average is only a run less than KP – a man, quite rightly, regarded as one of England’s greatest ever players. Cook, by any reasonable standard, deserves the same description for an almost identical record. Ironically both may go down in history as having their international careers unceremoniously ended, but their runs are in the book. Their ability as players cannot be argued against.

  • My direct reply option does not seem to be working. It appears on the screen briefly and then the full site comes up. The + comment does work.

  • Ron Walaron

    Direct reply is not working for me. I lived in Durban from age of 7 till 20. Afrikaners were referred to as nothing other than jaapies.

  • But what that video doesn’t tell you is how well he was hitting it before he got out. Particularly in 2014.

    (c) Mike Selvey, Simon Hughes, Paul Newman, Derek Pringle, Stephen Brenkley, Stevie Wonder.

  • This reminds me of that episode of They Think It’s All Over where Nick Hancock showed a selection of Clips where David Gower would keep getting out to the same airy-fairy shot that always annoyed me. Only two difference between this and AC was that DG had long since retired and that it was amusing to watch.
    I felt like it was watching Groundhog Day again, but that was funny as well, unlike AC. MOVE YOUR LEG, ALISTAIR!!

  • It is a very interesting compilation.

    I was going to say that it was devalued slightly by the inclusion of his dismissals when somewhere between 50 and 180-odd not out, but on reflection, it’s even more damning that the fault persists even when he’s more than played in.

  • Like Andrew above I was reminded of the Gower compilation of lazy nicks to the slip cordon. The problem is what we are reflecting is 18 months + where the problems have rather intensified. Gower, up to a point you had to say it was the way that he plays. He had a natural instinctive feel for playing a cricket ball that no serious being could accuse Cook of having. Gower may have had an average of 44 or so (i.e. a smidgen behind Cook) but I would be but one person to say that the conditions of pitches, the absence of Bangladesh etc from his era would have pushed that record up had he played in a later era.

    • ‘He had a natural instinctive feel for playing a cricket ball that no serious being could accuse Cook of having.’

      Utter bullshit.

      Do you have any idea of the skill level required to face and play bowling of 80mph plus? Professional batsmen, especially ones with over 20 test hundreds such as KP, Cook or Cowdrey, are utter freaks in terms of hand-eye coordination, naturally gifted far beyond the average player.

      There is far more to natural talent than just looking technically smooth and fluent. Otherwise Owais Shah and Vikram Solanki would be the best players we’ve produced in recent memory…

      • I know enough to know that Cook’s hand eye coordination all round skill was inferior to that of Gower’s markedly as indicated by the range of shots Gower had, the conditions that he played in and up to a point the attacks that Gower played against.

        When you say more gifted beyond the average player, if you mean the average county pro of course, but he is not more talented than many of his contemporaries, English or otherwise in modern day international cricket.

        I would also point to his record against the powerful seam attacks of the last few years is actually rather mediocre for someone who has played as much as he has against Australian, South African and Pakistani attacks. Sure he had a truly great series in 2010-11 v Aus but has failed quite badly in his four other series against them.

        As for your rating of Solanki and Shah REALLY? My great disappointment is that Ian Bell goes missing way too often. He really should have had a truly outstanding record yet his own returns are notably inflated by returns v Bangladesh, i.e. he averages an ok rather than outstanding 42 when you deduct the club bowlers off his record.

      • Not sure I’m clever enough to compare the two technically but I know Gower made his runs facing Hadlee, Kapil Dev, Lillee, Thomson, Roberts, Holding, Marshall, Garner, Wakar Younis and Wasim Akram. I’m not at all confident Cook would have his stats if he’d faced that lot.

      • I’ve got a pretty good idea how much coordination is required to play bowling of 80mph plus, and I’m quite happy to tell you you’ve got this totally addled.

        Hitting a cricket ball at a professional level is more about experience and technique than about pure hand eye. Despite what dimwit coaches may have told you, there’s a lot more to it than just watching the ball – and in fact the notion of following the ball through the entire delivery is probably a wholly inaccurate model of what’s happening, certainly if were talking about facing a genuine quick.

        People make the same mistake about reaction time, assuming pro batsmen must have superhuman reactions when in fact this doesn’t seem to be the case. Bradman, for instance, was tested at the University of Adelaide and turned out to have slightly below average reactions, and Peter Kirsten turned out to be unable play deliveries of even 130kph against a static bowling machine when the visual cue of the bowling action was removed.

        Even all this aside, it boggles my mind that somebody could be a cricket fan and not be able to detect the huge difference in ball striking ability between Cook and Gower.

        It’s beyond wrong. You’re striking into genuinely bizarre territory, here.

  • Better players than Cook have had their careers ended by having their Achilles heel exposed.

    Kemar Roach/Jerome Taylor, Trent Boult/Tim Southee, Mitchell Johnson/Ryan Harris and Dale Steyn/Vernon Philander/Morné Morkel to come this year.

    Cook’s England career will be finished by the end of the summer.

  • I detect from some a rubbing together of hands in gleeful anticipation of Cook failing. That’s a shame. OK he was a selfish ass in not stepping down as ODI Captain but I for one would like it if he remained and flourished as a test player. A bit sad wishing failure upon others.

    • “A bit sad wishing failure upon others.”

      Not if Cook’s failure allows the England team to benefit from being rid of a (currently) terrible opener and hopeless captain.

      • Failing and being wished to fail aren’t the same thing. If a player is failing they are (usually) removed. Once they are removed from the team and people wish them to continue to fail is the bit I think is sad.

        • “Once they are removed from the team and people wish them to continue to fail…”

          a) Literally nobody has ever said this; b) Cook hasn’t been removed from the Test team – which he deserves to be, based on his performances (1 big score in 2 years).

  • “So much for the laptop and analysing what went wrong…”

    You know what? I reckon if England ever DID actually analyse what went wrong, it would become obvious pretty quickly that Cook’s problem outside off stump is what KEEPS going wrong. It’s not that they don’t analyse; it’s the fact they only analyse certain people, and let others get away with murder.

    The one weakness a Test batsman can’t have is a weakness outside off, because that’s where the majority of balls are bowled! Again, why hasn’t he been dropped already?


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