Alastair Cook has overdone it with his new stance... but don't write him off just yet 

  • England captain Alastair Cook has been working on a new batting stance
  • His new stance has his front foot too far out without protecting the wicket 
  • As a result, he doesn't have time to adjust to the delivery and set himself
  • Cook probably overdid his new stance against the West Indies
  • Still, he shouldn't be written off just yet and impressed in training 

By Nasser Hussain for the Daily Mail

Published: 21:30 GMT, 20 April 2015 | Updated: 23:11 GMT, 20 April 2015

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Alastair Cook has been working on a new, more open stance with former England batting coach Graham Gooch over the past few months. But in the first Test against the West Indies, I think he overdid it.

The picture below shows Cook playing against India at Lord's in 2007 — when he was playing well — with a near perfect stance. His front foot is slightly open but not too far past the line of leg stump.

Compare that to the other picture from last week, in which his front foot is far too open. It means that he has a long way to go to get to off stump, and he doesn't have time to adjust to the delivery and set himself.

Alastair Cook has been working on a new stance, but he appears to have overdone it against the West Indies

Alastair Cook has been working on a new stance, but he appears to have overdone it against the West Indies

England head coach Peter Moores and Cook stand together during a nets session in Grenada on Monday

England head coach Peter Moores and Cook stand together during a nets session in Grenada on Monday

Cook prepares to play a shot during a training session at the Grenada National Stadium in St Georges

Cook prepares to play a shot during a training session at the Grenada National Stadium in St Georges

Cook plays a shot during a training session at the Grenada National Stadium in St Georges on Monday

Cook plays a shot during a training session at the Grenada National Stadium in St Georges on Monday

In this scenario, because his front foot is still landing as the ball is halfway down, he is forced to play the shot with his hands away from his body, which is when you're most likely to nick the ball to the wicketkeeper or slips.

 He's clearly trying to open up his shoulders — perhaps he felt a bit closed off last summer — but he moved his front foot way too far against the West Indies and when you're out of nick and under pressure, your movements become exaggerated.

It's important to note that in the second picture he has already started to move, making his footwork look worse than it is, but also that Cook has never been a brilliant front-foot player. 

He's at his best when he gets his movements out of the way early, giving him time to move to the pitch of the ball and bend his front knee into the drive. 

Of course, when you're in form you don't think about these things. But this is the hardest thing to do.

Cook's greatest asset is his mental strength, and what he needs to do in matches is give himself 20 minutes to get settled. After a few boundaries it'll all come naturally.

Saying that, I saw him in the nets on Sunday and he looked bloody good! So don't write him off yet.

Cook plays a shot during day one of the first test match between West Indies and England last week

Cook plays a shot during day one of the first test match between West Indies and England last week

Cook kicks out in frustration after being dismissed for 13 runs by a catch from Sulieman Benn on Wednesday

Cook kicks out in frustration after being dismissed for 13 runs by a catch from Sulieman Benn on Wednesday

 

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