Cook, and the virtue of keeping one's cool

Invariably, teams that have had success in India over the past decade have learned to embrace the country as it is. There is no doubt that the many dollars, and opportunities for future dollars, on offer have eased that. But even then, the acceptance has often been a grudging one, of the give-me-my-bucks-and-I'm-out-of-here variety.

updated: January 16, 2013 11:52 IST
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When you think of press conferences in cricket, the image is usually of a slightly bored-looking cricketer addressing a room full of reporters, spouting one cliché after another and assuring all those assembled that 'no team could be taken lightly' and his side was 'working hard' and the magic formula for victory was to put the ball in the all-important 'right areas'.

Cricketers, and especially national captains who are the ones who attend press conferences most frequently, aren't unintelligent people by any stretch. And yet, press conferences result in tedium because most follow the 'better safe than sorry' route, and what's 'safe' is also often dull.

It seems reasonable that, given a chance, most cricketers would jump at the opportunity to skip press conferences, if they found legitimate cause. That is exactly the kind of opportunity Alastair Cook got in Rajkot, the venue of the first India-England One-Day International. How he handled the situation, though, was more interesting than the tragicomic sequence of events.

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