The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) selectors should stick with Alastair Cook as Test captain but his position could be under threat if the India series doesn’t go to plan.
That is the view of David East, the former Essex County Cricket Club chief executive officer, who signed Cook’s first academy contract when the captain was 16.
The 29-year-old is under pressure for his poor form and captaincy after two successive Test defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia. His own performances have been patchy with only 601 runs in his last 24 innings.
The opener has publicly said he will not resign, despite calls from Australian legend Shane Warne while ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott criticised Cook’s poor form in the Sri Lanka series as a ‘recipe for disaster’.
But ahead of the five-Test series against India, beginning today, East feels he still has a lot to offer.
“Cook is having a tough time at the moment,” said East, who is now the Emirates Cricket Board chief executive officer. “I hope he’s not removed as I feel he has a lot to offer as he’s a very talented cricketer. He is a very intelligent player with a good cricket brain. The amount of experience that he has, will be difficult to replace as England are a young and rebuilding side.
“All teams go through tough periods. It’s how they come out of those tough periods which are the social strengths of the character of each individual, the management and the captain.”
Cook began his captaincy position brilliantly scoring five successive centuries since taking over from Andrew Strauss in 2012.
A veteran of 104 Tests, he has scored 8,125 runs where he has made a record 25 centuries.
And the former Essex wicketkeeper believes Cook has enough character to end his dismal run.
He said: “Some of the question marks have been on his performances that have been dropping off as well. That inevitably happens when a team is under pressure.
“He’s a determined enough professional to make those changes to the game and adapt to that challenge. I hope they stick with him because he’s a very capable individual.
“I think the India series is such a high profile series that he will have to come out of that well personally and collectively for the team as well. If the India series doesn’t go well, then he certainly will be under considerable threat.”
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