By Stephen Giles
- Broad confident Cook will surprise Australia
- 1st Investec Ashes Test Match takes place between 8-12 July, in Cardiff
- Australians doubt Cook can match their attacking intent
CARDIFF, UK – Stuart Broad fully expects Alastair Cook to surprise Australia this summer by scrapping his notoriously unadventurous style of captaincy and replacing it with a more attacking mindset.
As the Ashes officially gets underway in Cardiff on Wednesday, Australian players have already initiated the mind games with Brad Haddin and Shane Watson claiming that Cook will find it exceptionally challenging to ditch his style of leadership that has often plagued his time in charge, and have pleaded with him to match the Aussies’ attacking style, but have their doubts.
Watson said: “I’m not sure it’s exactly in Alastair Cook’s DNA to be really able to put a game on the line.”
Veteran wicket-keeper Haddin added: “I don’t think things will change too much. Guys like Cook have played more than 100 Tests and have been very successful for a long time playing the way they do.
“I don’t know where the wheels change. I think they’ll play the same way they’ve always played. They’re quality Test players and we have been for a long time.”
However, fast-bowler Broad is convinced that with the help of a younger presence of fledgling new stars such as Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali will encourage Cook to be more courageous in his approach.
England revived the public’s enthusiasm with an impressive ODI campaign against New Zealand last month, with Root, Buttler and Stokes all playing a key part in their success.
Broad said: “You may see a decent shift. You have to captain the players you have in your side and we have these newer guys who like to play attacking, free-flowing, exciting cricket. Cooky can roll with that and is excited about rolling with that, and letting the guys go and play.
“You will see certain field changes at different times to surprise certain players and it will be an intriguing series to see how both captains go.
“Cooky is really clear about how he wants the team to play in this series and how we are going to take the initiative against Australia.”