England sports shrink backs Cook to retain Ashes urn
Sydney: England`s sports psychologist has branded captain Alastair Cook as an `assassin` and his men as `warriors` and said that Australia will have to snatch the urn from England if they are to win the winter Ashes after three consecutive defeats.
The dealings of Dr Mark Bawden, who is the performance psychologist on England`s Ashes tour, with the squad are regarded as top secret by the team`s management, although Bawden gave an insight into his work with the squad.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bawden`s words came after Australian spin legend Shane Warne`s criticism of Cook and `boring and unimaginative`, although the sports shrink described him as `cool blue` though `robotic`.
Hailing Cook as the `head assassin`, Bawden said that assassins are thinkers but warriors are `feelers` and compared Cook to tennis legend Bjorn Borg, adding that Cook is a good example of an assassin as he is repeatedly able to stay within his bubble and do his `own thing`.
Bawden further said that Jonathan Trott and Chris Tremlett are also assassins, although he branded the controversial Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad as `warriors` as they are much more emotional and aggressive than their teammates.
Stating that he and his team use lots of different profiling tools and a colour-based tool to characterise people, adding that `cool blues` like Warne are `introverted thinkers` and analytical, whereas players are Pietersen and Broad fall into the `yellow` category, which makes them `extroverted feelers`.
Although Bawden said that batsmen, who need to concentrate for long periods, might appear to better fit the ` assassin` tag and bowlers the ` warriors` label, however, he admitted that there were stages in games where players may need to move out of their natural setting.