Two things we love about Alastair Cook

(1) If there's half a chance of scoring a hundred, Alastair Cook makes sure he takes it: 15 Tests, five hundreds, three fifties.

(2) He's 22.

We realise that point two could, conceivably, be taken the wrong way, so we'll clarify. Alastair Cook is already a more than decent batsman. He's got quite a long time to get better. We love the thought of his getting better - not the fact that he's young and smooth.

We should also clarify 'better'. There's a danger that 'better' could be interpreted as meaning more shots and gaining the ability to score in ways he can't at present. That's only partly true.

Every new run-scoring shot also carries with it a new way of getting out. Alastair Cook should always remember that all it's about is the number of runs he scores.

Fortunately, Alastair Cook's current game seems designed with this in mind. That this appears to be his driving philosophy is his greatest strength and presumably whatever he learns over the next ten or 12 years will be defined by this guiding principle. As long as he does that, he'll be more than all right.

Day one of England v West Indies at Lord's:
England: 200-3 (Alastair Cook 102 not out)

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Friday, May 18, 2007

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