Alastair Cook’s captaincy has come under severe scrutiny after his team found itself on the wrong side of the result on the majority of this occasion in the last few months. Cook’s men began the year in an emphatic manner by winning the Test series in South Africa. However, the team failed to replicate that form thereafter as they drew at home against Pakistan, followed by the 1-1 draw in Bangladesh and were then thrashed 4-0 in the recently-concluded series against India.
Not surprisingly, there have been calls from several quarters to remove the soon-to-turn 32-yea-old as the captain of the team and the latest player to join the bandwagon is former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott. England’s next Test series is in July against South Africa, three months before the Ashes in Australia and Boycott feels the new captain should be given ample time to get ready for the all-important series in Down Under.
Writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, the legendary batsman said:”If we are to have a new captain, he needs all seven Tests to get his feet under the table. We don’t want Alastair giving it up after three or four Tests.”
The outspoken cricketer-turned-commentator also criticised Cook for not following his words. Before the series in India had started, the under-pressure skipper had said his deputy Joe Root is ready to lead the side but after the series the southpaw insisted he will not make a decision on captaincy in a haste.
Boycott wrote:“This hasn’t just happened. It must have been on his mind for some time. Normally, they sack losing generals, and he made a comment before the tour about how it might be his last.”
“After we’ve lost the series, he says Joe Root is ready for captaincy, and nobody forced that out of him. Whoever captains in England this summer has seven Tests [against South Africa and West Indies] before the biggest series of all in the Ashes,” he added.
Several people have expressed their apprehensions over Root being too young to lead the side but Boycott does not agree with them.
He said:“There’s many a player who got the captaincy when he was young – Ted Dexter, Peter May. Some people thrive on it. Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain weren’t county captains, and they did well. People either rise to the challenge or they don’t.”
He also criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board for failing to address the visitors’ dismal record in the subcontinent.
“Strauss has to make a decision, that’s what he’s paid for. What about the chairman Colin Graves and the chief executive? They run the business, but the performance out here has been pathetic.
“England pay the coaches and the director of cricket fortunes, but nothing will happen. They will beat people in England on seaming pitches and everything in the garden will be rosy,” he concluded.