Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham has announced that it is time for Alastair Cook to give up the ODI captaincy.
Botham’s comments come after Cook scored 119 runs at a dismal average of 19.83 in England’s 5-2 loss to Sri Lanka in their recently concluded seven-match ODI series.
“I personally wouldn’t play Alastair Cook. I’m saying that now but I’ve been saying it for a year,” Botham told Sky Sports. “I think Alex Hales is a far better bet for the kind of cricket we want to play in Australia. When Eoin Morgan was captain he made a 50 and that’s who I’d give the reins to for the World Cup.”
However, Botham stated that Cook should stay on as Test captain.
“This is not personal. It’s purely and simply on what I’ve seen in one-day cricket,” he said. “I think he should stay as England’s Test captain, I think he can be there for as long as he wants and score lots and lots of runs.
“It’s not for me to talk about his skills. He’s proved himself in the Test arena and has the skills but I think trying to play one-day cricket is affecting that so I would say he should have a good rest and a break: there’s a lot of Test cricket coming up after the World Cup.”
Former England batsman Mark Butcher agreed with Botham’s views and even went as far as saying that Cook is not good enough to be included “into our best XI” for the World Cup.
“My view is to ask whether he gets into our best XI and the answer to that is ‘no’,” Butcher said. “He isn’t good enough to get into one of those top-six batsmen roles so England are having to unbalance their side in order to accommodate him.
“It leaves you with little chance of making a major impact at a big tournament. Even in his best form he’s not a devastating one-day player and he’s nowhere near his best form.”