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Former England wicketkeeper-batsman Alec Stewart has announced that he believes Alastair Cook should relinquish the captaincy in order to regain his form with the bat.
Stewart’s comments come after Cook only made five runs in England’s first innings against India on a pitch that is supposed to be a batsman’s paradise.
“I certainly don’t want him dropped from the side as I believe he will repay the selectors’ faith in him with a bucket-load of runs soon,” Stewart wrote in his column for the Sunday Mirror. “But relieving him of the burden of captaincy may accelerate his return to form.
“Captaining a side that isn’t winning allied with your own lack of contributions with the bat is soul-destroying. I can’t believe Cook is enjoying his cricket at the moment and if the captaincy responsibilities were removed it might freshen up his mind and allow him to solely concentrate on his batting.
“It would be a brave decision to stand down from the helm but one Cook should seriously consider.
“Giving up the England captaincy is not something that should be taken lightly and Cook will be aware of that. I wouldn’t see it as a weak move on his part.
“Only a strong character would do this and Cook is certainly that type of person. It would be in the best interests of the team and Cook himself because if he continues to captain a side that isn’t winning and offers nothing with the bat he would have to be dropped.”