The Ashes 2013-14 January 7, 2014

Cook remains England's best option

ESPNcricinfo staff
Understandably in the wake of England's humiliating 5-0 defeat in Australia, there has been much scrutiny about the future of the coach and captain, Andy Flower and Alastair Cook

Understandably in the wake of England's humiliating 5-0 defeat in Australia, there has been much scrutiny about the future of the coach and captain, Andy Flower and Alastair Cook. Speaking to All Out Cricket, former England batsman Mark Butcher argues against wholesale change. While expressing surprise that the ECB had already given Flower its backing until 2015, he said he would "disinclined to hack the whole thing apart"; as for Cook, he could see few realistic successors:

Understandably there's a clamour for heads to roll but I don't see any viable candidates to replace Alastair Cook as captain. Fast bowlers like Stuart Broad aren't guaranteed to play because they need to be rested and rotated, which you can't do with your captain, so that only leaves you with the two other senior batters in the side in Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen.

We all saw what happened to Pietersen the first time around so that's not a particularly good idea. And for all the Test matches that Bell has played he still seems to be a bit anonymous. People who have seen him captain at Warwickshire tell me that tactically he's very good so perhaps he's the only real candidate who's currently in the team in that sense, but he certainly doesn't jump out at you and say 'here's our leader'.

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