Alastair Cook has come under fire after England lost the series against India 3-0 in a humiliating fashion with still a Test left to play in the series. But how fair is it for the critics to drag the England captain through the mud for all his side's failures?
“Has Alastair Cook resigned yet?” tweeted England's most vocal critic Piers Morgan just two hours after their 3-0 series loss against India was confirmed on Monday morning. “Cook has to decide; is what he's doing making England a better side?” added former skipper Nasser Hussain.
Former cricketers such as Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott also got into the mix to
First of all, let's look at how the team has responded to the captain's call in the series. In batting, there have been just
Comparatively, the Indian tail-enders have had better understanding among themselves, putting up five 50+ partnerships and one massive 241-run partnership involving rookie Jayant Yadav, across eight innings in this series. It is mostly up to the captain to devise the
Then comes the bowling department, which was laid bare by the Indian batting led by skipper Virat Kohli. The English
But the biggest issue with England's bowling is the failure of their spin department. In all the four Tests, there was hardly a day where the spinners were unable to show any impact. The English spinners have failed exactly
While Zafar Ansari is only three-Tests old and getting injured during the Mohali Test was unfortunate, picking up just two genuine spinners for the series shows the over-confidence Trevor Bayliss and Alastair Cook have in their pacers. Moeen Ali might be considered a genuine off-spinner, but the way Cook has used him so far shows that he does not trust the all-rounder with the ball. And it was once again a mystery why Cook did not opt for the services of Liam Dawson for the fourth Test when it was evident that the pitch was a complete turner.
Adding to this, his decision to over-burden Rashid on the deteriorating Wankhede pitch was a terrible decision. The 28-year old bowled a spell of 28 straight overs which resulted in total exhaustion while also made him predictable for the Indian batters. Though the selection of Keaton Jennings in place of injured opener Haseeb Hameed proved to be good, England
And when it came to his individual performances, Cook has failed to lead from the front. Despite starting the series with a brilliant century at Rajkot, it was mostly Cook's lesser experienced opening partner, whether it was Haseeb Hameed or Keaton Jennings, who took on the responsibility of scoring big. His performances have taken a nosedive after the first Test and the temperament he showed against India during their previous tour in 2012 was completely absent.
Even with the DRS, there was a complete lack of judgement in Cook's reviews. It was evident when he went on to review a supposed edge off Jayant Yadav in the fourth Test. After listening to Ben Stokes, who was positioned near the gully region, Cook did not seem to notice that the bowler of the ball James Anderson was not confident about using the review. This shows that there is some serious miscommunication between the players and the captain.
With England's history of replacing their captain regularly, it is hard to disagree with Nasser Hussain who pointed out, "Historically, it's around now that's the cut-off period - after about four years, 40 Test matches as captain; whether it be (Andrew) Strauss, (Michael) Atherton, Hussain,
With Joe Root having the experience of leading Yorkshire for the past one year and now being the vice-captain of the side, it appears Alastair Cook's time as the Test captain has to end. It is better for England to move on to a captain with fresher ideas. They succeeded in the limited overs format by appointing Eoin Morgan as the ODI and T20 captain. It could very well work in Tests.
It would also not hurt the team to promote someone as committed as Ben Stokes to