Former England captain Michael Vaughan has announced that current skipper Alastair Cook is under immense pressure to turn the national team’s fortunes around following their disastrous tour of Australia.
During that tour, not only did England get whitewashed 5-0 in the Ashes series, but they also lost batsman Jonathan Trott to a stress-related illness. However, there were a lot more incidents to follow as off-spinner Graeme Swann announced his retirement midway through the series, Andy Flower stepped down as head coach and Kevin Pietersen’s central contract was terminated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
“The pressure is on him,” Vaughan told BBC Sport. “Any failure [and] any disappointment will be jumped on by a lot of people.
“Even though he’s won an Ashes and won in India, Cook will probably feel like this is a fresh start, what he’s going to be judged on as an England captain.
“He has made some tough calls. He has got rid of his best pal – batting coach Graham Gooch – although I believe it was a management decision.
“He has got rid of the man who has scored more runs for England than anyone else in Kevin Pietersen so, although the public will be behind him, there will also be more pressure on the England side.”
Meanwhile, Swann pointed out that England need to start winning matches in order to gain some much-needed momentum.
“Alastair Cook will be desperate for a couple of new heroes to emerge and really stamp their names on proceedings for the summer and become the new faces of English cricket,” Swann told BBC Radio Five. “We need to play in front of full houses, we need to play exciting cricket, but most importantly we just need to win.”