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London: Jul 20, 2014
Michael Vaughan has slammed England captain Alastair Cook‘s “poor tactics” in the ongoing Lord’s Test against India and called for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to consider taking the captaincy away from him.
Vaughan, in his article for the ‘Daily Telegraph’, said “We have reached the stage with Cook when he cannot be enjoying cricket. You don’t when you are not playing well and the team is struggling.”
The former skipper said England should have been strolling in the second Test against India but because of “poor tactics” they are left chasing the game.
Cook’s role has come under increasing scrutiny after nine winless Tests and 26 innings without a century, his most recent failure coming in this week’s second Test against India at Lord’s.
Ex-England players such as Geoffrey Boycott and Alec Stewart have suggested that Cook can no longer handle the pressure of leadership.
“It is easy for the ECB to say it is going to stick by him but it has to ask what is best for the team and for Cook. The ECB has a responsibility to Cook the person to do the right thing and if that means taking the captaincy away then so be it,” Vaughan wrote, giving his candid opinion.
In the column, to drive home his point, Vaughan narrates his own struggles with captaincy and how he came out of it.
“I went through terrible moments opening the batting and captaining the side. I could not buy a run in my first series against South Africa and really struggled in Sri Lanka. It was killing me going to my room at night hating this job,” Vaughan said.
“I reached a stage in 2004 when it took a very honest conversation with the coach at the time, Duncan Fletcher, to sort it out,” he said.
“I am now waiting for that Duncan [Fletcher] moment to happen to Alastair [Cook]. I do not see him as anything other than an opening batsman so moving down the order is not an option. The question should be do you think you can get back to the form you showed on that tour to India and captain the side? Would England miss his tactical captaincy at Southampton if he stood down? The honest truth is I do not think they would,” Vaughan wrote.
He stressed that English cricket has to get Cook back to batting consistently at the top of the order.
Vaughan asked the ECB and Cook to not be stubborn and just carry on because they fear giving in to critics.
“Plenty of great players have had to relinquish the captaincy to carry on being a player. It is not a sign of weakness. It is simply a reality of life,” Vaughan said.
“I just want to see Cook the run maker return because then the team will be in a better position and he will be enjoying life more,” he said.
Talking about the current Test at Lord’s, Vaughan said, England should have bowled India out for 150 and then made 300, to put themselves in position to win the game but because Cook did not get his tactics right they are chasing the game.
“England have been guilty of allowing the opposition back into the game for more than a year. It started in New Zealand, continued in Australia and cost them against Sri Lanka,” he said.
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