Sunday 25 February 2018

Captain Cook set to resign as another whitewash looms

Alastair Cook who is considering retiring as England captain
Alastair Cook who is considering retiring as England captain

Nick Hoult

ALASTAIR COOK is considering quitting as England's Test and one-day captain at the end of their worst tour to Australia, which hit another low yesterday when the one-day series was lost after the first three matches.

Cook will make a decision on his future after he goes home at the end of the one-day series next Monday, but he admitted that it might be time for a new man to take charge of the team.

Two weeks ago, in the aftermath of the 5-0 Ashes loss, Cook was adamant that he wanted to carry on as captain, but yesterday he said that the situation had changed following three more desperate defeats in the one-day series.

"It has been two weeks since I was asked that question and a lot has happened," he said. "We have kept losing games of cricket and I have not turned it around.

"I am going to have to make a decision on that when we take stock after the next two games.

"We have sat down and talked about a lot of things. I think there will be some changes. I think English cricket needs a bit of change as well.

"The last few months we have not played the cricket that we are capable of playing. We have to look at the reasons why. I can't answer that question (about his future) now and I don't know what I will feel like when I get home."

Cook has lost eight successive matches to Australia and is staring at the possibility of a second whitewash on the tour but will remain in charge for the last two matches in Perth next Friday and Adelaide on Sunday.

"When you are a captain in Australia and you have lost in Australia for the past three and a half months, it is not a great place to be," Cook said.

"I have got a job to do. I have to try and turn it around and win one of these games. I am competitive and I leave everything out on the pitch."

Cook has many virtues as a leader and is widely liked and respected. He came within a whisker of winning the Champions Trophy last summer and arrived in Australia seemingly untouchable as captain after the 3-0 Ashes win.

But he is not an instinctive captain and has been out-thought, not just by Michael Clarke in the last six months, but also by Brendon McCullum in the Tests that England played against New Zealand last year.

The job has drained him of energy and his batting form has crumbled.

Australia were able to inflict the latest defeat by strolling past England's 243-9 with 10 overs in hand.

Dubliner Eoin Morgan passed 50 for the third time in as many games but, while the top six all managed to reach double figures, they were unable to push on for more, to continue a worrying trend.

By contrast Australia attacked with the bat: opener David Warner smashed a quickfire 71 before Shaun Marsh completed the chase with an unbeaten 71 of his own. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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