KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Speaking at Lord's, stand-in England skipper Alastair Cook says he is keen to develop his own captaincy style when he leads the England team on tour to Bangladesh.
Opening batsman Cook is set to fill in for his usual partner, England captain Andrew Strauss, as he takes a rest from the rigours of international cricket.
Despite the furore surrounding Strauss and England's decision to rest the usual captain, Cook says the team see the tour to Bangladesh as imporant to their progress:
"We see this as a massive tour, a chance to continue the momentum from the Ashes and South Africa - especially leading up to the World Cup."
Cook says he has been seeking counsel from the likes of England coach Andy Flower and his Essex mentor Graham Gooch - but is also keen to bring his own style to captaincy:
"I’ve spoken a lot to Andy [Flower]. We’ve got a really good relationship, having played together at Essex since I was 18 and now as a captain and coach.
"I’ve been speaking a lot to Goochy too, especially about the captaincy."
"I’ve been talking to Andy [Flower] about things - about my batting and how we want the next six weeks to go.
"[But] I’ve got to do it my own way. If I keep asking too many other people for their ideas I won’t be able to do it well enough."
Lambs & Lions
Cook brushed aside suggestions his promotion to captain might affect his relationship with his team-mates or with Strauss when the first choice skipper returns:
"Just because I’ve been made captain I can’t see my relationships with the players changing.
"It gives me a lot of confidence that he (Strauss) had full confidence in me to do it."
England fly first to Dubai as they warm-up for the Bangladesh series with three Twenty20 matches, one against the England Lions and then two against Pakistan.
Then, in Bangladesh, the team will play three tour matches, three one day internationals and two Tests. Despite the changes to the team, England will be expect to win comfortably but Cook has been avoiding the pressure in an unusual way:
"I’ve been trying to get away from it. I'm mentally a physically tired after South Africa. I’ve been doing a bit of farming.
"I've been doing a bit of lambing, that's just starting. My girlfriend's family have some farms and we've just been getting the sheep ready, getting the pens ready.
"It's something I've been doing for about the last five years."
Farming aside, Cook will be hoping this tour can give birth to a more long-term role as England captain in future.