Australia v England, 3rd ODI, Sydney January 19, 2014

Cook may quit one-day captaincy


Cook to step down from ODI captaincy?

Alastair Cook has hinted that he will consider his future as England's one-day captain after the series in Australia and, for the first time, appeared to be wavering over his role in the Test side as well.

Cook was powerless to stop Australia cantering to a 3-0 series lead in Sydney - their eighth consecutive loss of the tour - less than 48 hours after watching them snatch an incredible last-over finish in Brisbane, when England appeared to have finally secured an international win since leaving home.

"I'm going to have a decision on that stuff after the next two games. We will sit down and talk about a lot of things. I think there will be some changes, English cricket needs a little bit of a change," he said. "The last two months we haven't played the cricket we are capable of and we have to look at the reasons why."

On the eve of the one-day series, in Melbourne, Cook had struck a more upbeat note, having been given reassurances about his captaincy from Paul Downton, the new managing director of England, but when asked again about his leadership of both formats he seemed less sure.

"I don't really want to get dragged into my position," he said. "I don't know what I'll feel like when I get home. It's been two weeks since someone has asked me that question and a lot has happened. We have kept losing and I haven't been able to turn it around."

Although this tour has been hugely difficult for Cook, both from a captaincy and batting point of view, this was the first one-day series he had led in since England reached the final of the Champions Trophy, where they lost to India, in June.

Cook has been one-day captain since 2011, when he took over from Andrew Strauss a year before being elevated to the Test job. In that time has secured home series wins against Sri Lanka, India, West Indies and Australia and away successes in Pakistan and New Zealand.

The prospect of a 10-0 sweep on this tour remains across the formats that Cook captains, which are then followed by three Twenty20 matches where Stuart Broad will lead. Cook said he still had the drive to see out the last two matches in Perth and Adelaide, however.

"I've got a job to do, to try and turn it around and win one of these games. That's the task in hand. I'm competitive, I want to leave everything out on the pitch."

If Cook was to stand down from the one-day role the captaincy choice would appear to come down to Broad or Eoin Morgan. It would be a natural elevation for either with Broad already having the T20 role and Morgan having stood in for the matches against Ireland and Australia last year when Cook and Broad were both rested. An advantage for Morgan is that, as a batsman, and one currently not in the Test line-up, there would be less need for him to be rested at any stage.

Michael Clarke, who will miss the next ODI along with David Warner, Brad Haddin and Shane Watson, can draw on first-hand experience over the last 12 months of being in charge of a team in a similar state to England, but did not want to get drawn into Cook's situation.

"I don't think feeling sorry for an opposition captain is the right thing to feel," he said. "I know to a certain extent what Alastair's going through because we've experienced some tough times as a team, and it is a tough as a captain, but at the end of the day I'm here to help Australia have success and we've experienced a lot of defeats in the past couple of years. I think it would be very silly for me to put myself in Alastair's shoes because I'm not there."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Craptastic on January 21, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    @200ondebut - if Cook has no say in England's strategy, then yes he should stand down as captain. The coaches help but Cook as captain makes the calls, not Flower

    @aahahaa - great call on Morgan, would be a really good choice. I just think Broad is a bit too young and impetuous to be captain.

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2014, 17:00 GMT

    @Lexington North on (January 20, 2014, 13:45 GMT) You're kind of right. The plans worked in England and may work in England again but they've not worked well out here. The point is they stick to one plan for all teams and all conditions. I'd say unless you're head and shoulders above your opposition then (whatever sport you're in) you have to be more adaptable

  • JG2704 on January 20, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    @CS- PPS - Not sure where you got your stats from and I dont disbelieve you but I've just gone through Ravi's stats for the 2013 ODI matches for England and I make it that the matches where both played and both batted in 2013 (and I've done this in my head so if I'm wrong it's my bad and not trying to cook the books). I make it both played 8 matches (where both batted) and both had 2 not outs - I make that an average of just over 41 for Jos and 36 for Ravi. Jos scored 244 compared to Ravi's 216. I've not done the SRs but reckon that would be significantly in Jos's favour too. Obviously the stats change if you include the 101 not our Ravi scored vs Ireland where Jos did not bat but IMO they'd have swayed further in Jos's favour had he come in at 6 in that game. That 100 was Ravi's only ton in about 90 inns (and not all at 6 or 7) and it's against Ireland which to me says it all. Ravi is a very talented player but for whatever reason doesn't do it enough for England.

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    yes he shud step down as a captain ,,,,,

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    It's easy to jump on the bandwagon about Cook's ability as Captain. It wasn't so long ago that England under Cook, had beaten Australia 3-0 and the ODI squad getting to the final of the Champions-Trophy. It's amazing what a horrible tour can do to your self-confidence, his batting has suffered and the players look demoralised, so there'll be doubts about his ability to lead. So maybe it is best for him to focus on Test Matches alone, that's easily his best format. Carberry should replace Cook for Friday's ODI and let Morgan lead. Cook needs to talk to the Coaching staff, Management and Selectors on how to kick-start the summer season on where some of the seniors stand, have a much needed break from Cricket, then going back to Essex by playing some county-Cricket and getting some valuable time in the middle to regain some form and confidence, leading up to Sri Lanka and India during the English spring/summer series.

  • 200ondebut on January 20, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    I cant believe for one minute that Englands tactics are decide on the field of play by the Capt alone. They come from the back room staff - Cook (and the players) job is to deliver against them.

    Perhaps the problem is that England have become to formulaic - and actually what is needed is a change of coaches.

  • aahahaa on January 20, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    To me Morgan should be given the captaincy of both T20 and the one day sides. Broad is a ver good bowler on his day but no great he has got a prima donna attitude whichisnt good at all. Get Hales in the side. Keep Mills, Overton cand Topley close keep Btesnan Bopara Bairsrow Tremlett Far away fromwhere you play. get rid ofGiles Gooch and Mushtaq pronto and beefore you wind up get rid of Sakrr too. Coaches who cant help proven talent like Cook Root Finn and Swann to performis no use to anyone. SL andIndians are coming to the shore.Now is the time to experiment. Cook and Flower dont work togrther with their similar outlook You need one of them to be a bit more in the face. Get Cookto develop a bit more aggro not animation a la clarke but intent like MS.

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Cook shouldn't step down. It is just a bad patch in the career. I am sure that he has got ability to come out strong. This is testing time, no need to be disappointed. Come on England.

  • Iddo555 on January 20, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    If Bopara's only going to get 20 runs off 40 balls then he needs to go. He wasted that power play (35-40) and then got out. In my opinion he adds a huge amount of pressure to Morgan by doing nothing to help build the score in the middle overs.

    I don't know why he keeps getting picked, he can't seem to score more than 25 and usually wastes 40-50 balls doing it. Give Woakes a run out, the series is gone anyway

  • jamespapa on January 20, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    I am not a satisfied with decision at all. It's just the 1 series you can't leave captaincy for 1 poor series. Cook is still young and he is capable of doing well, it's just the matter of time. This is where I like M S dhoni he is cool and calm he never gives up. Cook should learn something from Dhoni.

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