Cook needs to justify faith

England management set stage for the vice-captain and opening batsman to regain his form at The Oval, writes Paul Radley

There was a time when the Oval Test match marked the end of the English cricket summer, and thus the last chance for aspiring winter tourists to prove their worth. For many, it was the only chance they ever got. The south London ground has been home to more than its fair share of "One Test Wonders" over the years.

The likes of John Stephenson, Joey Benjamin and Alan Wells, the brother of the former UAE national team coach Colin Wells, were all tried, tested and discarded from the England team on the merits of one performance at the Oval. Thanks to unique, and not altogether well-received, scheduling, today's meeting between England and Pakistan will not be the last Test of the English summer. It is not even the last that is going to be staged in London, as the charabanc heads back across the Thames river and a few miles north to Lord's next week. All of which means Alastair Cook has a maximum of 10 days to safeguard his place in the starting line-up for the first Ashes Test, in November.

The left-handed opener was England's captain on their last tour abroad, when he stood in for the rested Andrew Strauss in Bangladesh at the start of this year. Yet he is now under the scanner after a lean return at home, a run that reached a nadir when he had his stumps splayed by Mohammed Aamer last time out. With 58 Tests, more than 4,000 runs, as well as the vice-captaincy to his name, Cook has more credits in the bank than those who ended with just the solitary cap.

He has the faith of the people that matter. Andy Flower, England's team director and his former Essex teammate, believes Cook's flaws have been exaggerated by bowler-friendly conditions in the past two Tests, and backed him to thrive on an Oval wicket that is often flat and lifeless. "He's a battler and will battle his way through it," Geoff Miller, the chief selector, told Sky Sports after confirming Cook's place in the line-up for the third Test. His captain is also on-side, even though he got into a muddle with his words after the Edgbaston Test when Strauss said, "I've got no confidence" [in Cook], when he was trying to convey the exact opposite.

Cook would do well to heed his captain's example. Back in 2007, Strauss, was dropped for the tour of Sri Lanka. He hit back with a career-best 177 when restored to the line-up in New Zealand and within two years he was an Ashes-winning captain for England. Cook would settle for just being an Ashes starter for now. pradley@thenational.ae

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
Granta

The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
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The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
Martin Puchner
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The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
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Granta

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl turbo

Power: 435hp at 5,900rpm

Torque: 520Nm at 1,800-5,500rpm

Transmission: 9-speed auto

Price: from Dh498,542

On sale: now

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

Secret Nation: The Hidden Armenians of Turkey
Avedis Hadjian, (IB Tauris)
 

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

The biog

Favourite film: The Notebook  

Favourite book: What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey

Favourite quote: “Social equality is the only basis of human happiness” Nelson Madela.           Hometown: Emmen, The Netherlands

Favourite activities: Walking on the beach, eating at restaurants and spending time with friends

Job: Founder and Managing Director of Mawaheb from Beautiful Peopl

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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