Gatting: Huge job for Cook

England kick off a three-Test series in Antigua on April 13 and Cook, who was axed as ODI captain and omitted from the World Cup squad before the failure to make the knockout stage, will be expected to lead England into a busy summer with victory.

Former England captain Gatting told Sky Sports News HQ: “Alastair Cook has a really big job ahead of him in the West Indies. He’s got to pick a few people up because they’ll be devastated about what’s happened in the World Cup and he’s got to sit them down and get them concentrating.

“The guys themselves have to pick themselves up. They can’t do much about the World Cup now so they’ve got to look to rebuild their standing with the public.

“They play Test cricket quite well at the moment and they’ve got some great young players. It’s good to see young players like Adil Rashid back in the swing of things so there’s going to be some people in there to give others a boost.

“I’m hoping they can start well and then build up to what’s going to be a very difficult summer with both New Zealand and Australia coming down. England need their confidence back because they’ll be facing two good sides who’ll be cock-a-hoop this summer.”

England drew widespread criticism for their displays in Australia and New Zealand, where they suffered pool-stage defeats to Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and Gatting is urging head coach Peter Moores to study the success of finalists Australia and New Zealand.

The 57-year-old said: “The two teams are probably the teams a lot of people would have expected to be in the top four. It was always going to be about how they played on the day in the semi-finals.

“I think most people down in that part of the world are pretty happy they’ve got Australia and New Zealand in the final. They’ve both played some great cricket.

“Sadly, we didn’t play as well as we might. We didn’t play with the freedom that other sides have and it’s one of those things where people will go away and have a long hard look at it. They’ll talk about it, I’m sure.

“England have a huge summer coming up. They’ve got 17 Test matches and they start very shortly in the West Indies. I think people will be trying to focus on that.

“It won’t go unnoticed what’s happened in the World Cup and people will be looking to improve things. When you play ODI cricket, there are special cricketers and there are people like AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell.

“They play in a way that’s advantageous in ODI cricket. Our young man, Jos Buttler, played very well but probably didn’t get the support from elsewhere. The fact is sides are playing a little better than us and there are some quality players out there.

“We have to look at the way we play and learn a bit from how the teams that have reached the World Cup final have played.”

Comments