Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former England captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton have backed the national selectors’ decision to sack Alastair Cook as ODI skipper.
According to sources, Eoin Morgan will take over as full-time captain, which means that he will lead England during the 2015 World Cup.
Cook’s last assignment as ODI captain saw England get pummelled 5-2 during their recently concluded seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
“What you can’t survive as captain is scoring no runs when the team are losing and that’s what’s been happening for Alastair in one-day cricket,” Hussain told Sky Sports. “The only way England are going to do well in this World Cup is if their star, their gun one-day player Eoin Morgan, finds some form.
“Morgan, with the captain’s armband on, has shown signs of the player that he was and still can be. If it isn’t Morgan – it could be Joe Root – I think it is the right decision because England need him to fire.”
Atherton meanwhile reiterated that Cook should have never been appointed as ODI captain in the first place.
“There’s no question that the focus on Alastair Cook over the last week or two has shielded many others from deficiencies too – Eoin Morgan being one because he’s been short of runs,” Atherton said. “But Morgan is a certain pick in the one-day side in his best form – and even slightly short of his best form you’d still say he’s a sure-fire one-day pick, which Cook wasn’t. When he’s in form he’s one of the best one-day players in England and he’s a fairly cool customer under pressure.
“Morgan does need runs. Recent history suggests that captaincy has helped to lift his form. Let’s hope that’s the case in the World Cup as well.
“No matter who the captain is you’ve got to have players playing at the top of their game. If the bowlers keep leaking 300 runs and the batsmen are out of form, it doesn’t matter who is captain.
“The change allows a more dynamic line-up at the top of the order with the change of captain and allow somebody like Alex Hales to come in and get a run in the side which he may not have been able to do.
“Morgan looks a fairly cool customer. Middlesex didn’t have a particulary good season in one-day cricket under his captaincy; so you wouldn’t expect drastic differences because one-day cricket is a very formulaic form of the game.
“Captains are hamstrung – they are strait-jacketed by the number of fielders they can have inside and outside the circle and that kind of thing.”