England set for upheaval before ODI opener

Published by on January 12, 2017

Alastair Cook will meet with director of cricket Andrew Strauss on Friday to discuss his future as England captain, reports the Independent.

The skipper since 2012 is widely expected to stand down after his side’s abysmal recent showings in India, although the ECB’s official line is that the meeting is simply a debrief of the 4-0 series defeat.

If he does go, Joe Root is the obvious man to replace him. PaddyPower have the Yorkshire batsman at 8/11, so that’s hardly going to be a surprise appointment.

The main talking point between Cook and Strauss is going to be whether the opener is capable of leading his side to an Ashes victory in January. It’s going to be a lot to ask of Root just a year into his tenure, especially with Australia second in the Test rankings.

However, since Root’s ascension seems nothing more than a formality, the most interesting question could be how this upheaval is to affect England in the ODIs.

The first one-day is on Sunday, with India strong favourites at 8/15.

Root’s at 3/1 to top-score for England, and he’ll be desperate to prove that talk of the captaincy isn’t going to distract him, as that has so often been a problem for batsmen who have led the Lions.

Jason Roy is another good shout, as it’s only six months since he hit an almost record-breaking 162 against Sri Lanka. The Surrey man has matured a lot over the last year or so as a batsman, and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs in India after admitting, via the Telegraph, that he’s keen to earn himself an IPL contract.

And so, as England head into the ODIs, the hierarchy have more pressing issues on their minds. For captain-elect, the chief aim has to be avoiding another humbling like the Test series.