Cricket legend lashes out at the England skipper and suggests he needs a break from the game.
Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has lashed out again at the tactics used by England captain Alastair Cook, labeling him the worst skipper he has ever seen.
The outspoken former leg-spinner has kept up his critique of Cook as his side continues to struggle in the wake of their 5-0 Ashes drubbing during the English winter.
However, after being soundly beaten by Sri Lankan by 100 runs when his side had several excellent chances to take control of the game, Warne kept up his platform for change.
“There are three ways to go with Alastair ‘Cooked’ Cook,” Warne said.
“Everyone sticks their head in the sand and just allows things to keep going as is and hope he finds form with the bat and by a miracle discovers some tactical brains from somewhere.
“Two: he steps down from the captaincy to concentrate on his batting. Three: the most radical of all, he has a complete break away from the game.”
Warne insists he is not targeting Cook unfairly saying he has held this point of view going back to the victorious England Ashes victory last year.
However, he said the straw that should break the ECB’s back in terms of Cook’s future with the team came on the fifth day of the second Test against the Sri Lankans.
“The most disappointing thing for me is that he has not learned or improved after a horrible 5-0 drumming in Australia, in fact he has got worse,” he said.
“His captaincy at Lord’s was terrible, then on Monday at Headingley I witnessed the worst day of captaincy I have ever seen at international level in almost 25 years in the game. It was horrific, and I am not the only one singing that tune.”
“He just does not get it. Everyone watching could see the game needed a change of pace; bowl the spinner or make the seamers try and actually get Angelo Mathews out.
“You just cannot bowl the same stuff over after over like he did – good captains try things and are proactive, not hopeful.
“This is not a personal attack and never has been Alastair. Mate, you need to improve tactically or England need someone else in the job. And I am not the only one saying it. Please speak to Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussain and other successful captains who were tough, ruthless and got it.”
Warne also took offence at being labeled an “Aussie cheerleader” and said the lack of accountability Cook has displayed with his sudden drop-off in form with the bat also should irk the ECB and cricket fans of England more.
“Perhaps he has to think to himself, “you know what, I had a shocker”. If he said in public, “yes I had a bad day and I have to get better, I will improve” then people would give him a chance,” Warne said.
“But he is not saying that, he is getting worse which is why there is so much pressure and concern about him and it is affecting his batting.
“With Cook as captain England will always be conservative and get confused about what to do when games are in the balance because he retreats so quickly. At Lord’s he had the chance to declare earlier, and if that had happened, England would have won.
“We saw at Headingley that he let the game drift because he just did not know what to do, which led to the whole team not having a plan.”
England have been given two weeks off from cricket duties between the second and third Test matches against Sri Lanka in the hope they can regain some form.