England news June 27, 2014

Warne tells Cook: 'Take a rest'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Warne has stepped up his criticism of Alastair Cook's captaincy, insisting that his leadership of England at Headingley represented the worst day of international captaincy he had witnessed in 25 years.

In an outspoken column in the Telegraph, Warne dismissed Cook's suggestions that his criticism was somehow personal and suggested that it would be "a miracle" if he ever became tactically astute.

Cook had suggested ahead of the Headingley Test, which Sri Lanka won in the last over to take the series, that "something should be done" about Warne's trenchant criticism. He has insisted that he has no intention of resigning as England captain ahead of the Test series against India. He has received support, among others, from India's coach Duncan Fletcher, the man who first introduced him to Test cricket.

"There are three ways to go with Alastair 'Cooked' Cook," Warne wrote. "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.

"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.

"This column 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.

"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 ... If a game is in the balance with Cook at the helm then I am here to tell you, England will lose."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arun on July 2, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    @paps123: Understand one thing, Dhoni doesn't have quality bowlers like Anderson, Broad, Jordan etc. With a strong batting line, you will have to protect boundaries when the bowling unit was not up to mark. A draw is always better than a loss.

    Cook's usage of his only spin bowler is pathetic, if you let a 150+ 9th wicket partnership, there is something really wrong. In this case, it was cook's captaincy!. it was his lacklustre captaincy that causes problems for the England team not the team's capability.

    More over Dhoni has won world cups in all formats and attained No 1 status in tests as well.

    Don't insult Dhoni by comparing him to Mr. Lacklustre Cook!

  • Billy on June 30, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @waspsting, Captain Cook won a series in India because of Pietersen and a series against Australia because the bowling attack was no good. Once you add a bit of quality to the opposition (eg. Mitchell Johnson) and take away a bit of quality from their eleven (Pietersen was pretty much missing mentally since the Australian tour started), then the end result is six losses out of seven test matches.

  • shafeen on June 30, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    Captain Cook won series' against Aus and in India.

    Now, the same Captain Cook is losing in Aus and to Sri Lanka.

    Whats up?


    Hard to say, perhaps impossible. I'm not willing to blame Cook's leadership, but I do think that the burdens of leadership (and it seems clear it is a mental burden to him, not un-understandably) are probably adversely affecting his batting.

    While the merits of Cook's captaincy are open to debate, I dare say the potential value he brings with the bat is not.

    I'd go for option 2 - let him play as a batsman alone - he can still be one of the best, maybe the best opener in the world. And give someone else the captaincy, see if they can do something better

  • Babul on June 29, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    This same Cook was the captain when England won the Ashes in 2013 and beat India in India. I didn't hear Warne screaming for Cook's head. Now that England lost a few series, Cook is to blame? What can he do if his bowlers cannot get 10 Lankan wickets or his batsman cannot handle Dhamika Prasad & co?

  • Majid on June 28, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    The biggest mistake Cook has made is making comments about Shane Warne's comments. It clearly shows that Warne has got to him. If nothing else he should have used those comments as motivation to improve. With that said, a captain is only as good as those around him. The England team is dire, from management to players. They got rid of the best player in KP because he was apparently a bad influence. KP is someone who has standards and if he thinks people fall below that, he will speak his mind. The England Cricket is full of 'YES MEN'. All of them before the Australia test Series thought they were the best team in the world because of the rankings. Ego plays a big part in everything and it is ego that has brought down England. Cook should not be bothered by what Shane Warne thinks of his Captaincy. His comments about Warne show that Warne was correct and that Cook does need a break from cricket. Cook is certainly not thinking straight, he is not mentally all there at the moment.

  • Dummy on June 28, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    Cook has won the series in India that was mainly down to kp. He took the attack from oppo. But cook won't do that as he can't even buy a run for himself. They lost to Sl that was worse performance. Even if Zimbabwe comes here we will lose to them lol. Hope England can walk again from their loss. Peter Moore will be sacked if he lose the series to India so cook will be too. Need bell to captain for few years and rooty will take over from him.

  • ad on June 28, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Seems only posts collaborating the article passes inspection... Take 2: Warne criticises everyone that hails from anywhere outside Australia, but he has been going on about Cook more than usual for his loud mouth, which smacks a bit of a personal vendetta. That said, I recall him being critical of almost every international captain that were Ponting or Clarke.

  • Greg on June 28, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Cook is not a Captain. I watched him during the Sydney in January and he was at first slip looking confused, doing nothing and there was Broad, at mid-on, directing and moving the field around. Cook looked totally out of his depth.

  • pradipto on June 28, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    Cook's captaincy has been poor no doubt but now he'll be up against Dhoni whose captaincy in away tests has been hilarious at times resulting in draws and loses from impregnable situations because of his defensive captaincy such as having 7 fielders in on side . Can cook beat that i doubt. How on earth so called experts dont criticize Dhoni's captaincy is a mystery. Well he wins in India in 3 days... If that is the reason then even if India plays Harsha Bhogle at Number 11 they will still lose once in 20 years in India.

  • Rohit on June 28, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Easiest way to back to form is play against India. So cook should be given that chance.

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