Alastair Cook chases Graeme Swann’s FTI MVP lead after the first ODI in Rajkot - 14/01/13
Alastair Cook’s cunning plan of leaving Graeme Swann at home to relax while he accumulates valuable FTI MVP Ranking points in India is already reaping rewards. The England captain has closed within 43 points of England’s premier off-spinner after the first ODI in Rajkot, where he scored 75 off 83 balls. Cook added 158, with Ian Bell, for the first wicket and has now scored 637 runs for England this winter. He has played four games fewer than Swann, who took part in the World T20, however, with a points-per-game average of 23.36, Cook is on course to reel the Nottinghamshire man in by the end of the ODI series.
Swann racked up 160 FTI MVP Ranking points before Christmas through strong performances in Tests and T20 Internationals. He has averaged 17.81 points per game courtesy of 132 runs and 27 wickets, of which 98 runs and 20 wickets came in the four Tests against India. He was England’s highest-ranked performer in these Test matches and in the World T20, but has slipped to third in the T20 FTI MVP after Alex Hales and Luke Wright’s strong performances in the two-match series against India for which Swann was again rested.
Swann’s absence has yet to be felt as his off-spinning understudy, James Tredwell, took the Man of the Match Award in the first ODI with 4-44 from 10 overs in a high-scoring game. Tredwell has played ten ODIs for England across four years, conceding his runs at a very respectable 4.88 runs per over on average. Only once has he gone for more than 6.00 runs per over. The new Kent captain bowled with lots of skill to apply the brakes to the Indian innings, picking up career-best figures in the process.
The other key player for England in Rajkot was Ian Bell, who continued from where he left off in the summer. The Warwickshire man topped the Overall and ODI FTI MVP in 2012 scoring 664 ODI runs at a strike rate of 83 runs per 100 balls, including a hundred and four fifties. He made 85 off 96 balls in the first ODI (26% of England’s total) at a strike rate of 89 runs per 100 balls. He has the fourth highest points-per-game average this winter behind Swann, Cook and Monty Panesar – who has the highest with 26.22 from his three matches.
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To keep up to date with the PCA England MVP, visit www.thepca.co.uk . The leader board will update after the last game finishes of any round of matches.