Alastair Cook faces the chop as captain - Boycott

Former England opener suggests that skipper could be hounded out of a job for serving up ‘same old rubbish’

England’s Alastair Cook watches the presentation after Sri Lanka won the test series.   Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

England’s Alastair Cook watches the presentation after Sri Lanka won the test series. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 11:10

Geoffrey Boycott has warned England captain Alastair Cook he could be hounded out of his job if his team keeps serving up “the same old rubbish”.

The outspoken former opening batsman launched a broadside at Cook in the wake of Monday’s 100-run defeat by Sri Lanka at Headingley, which handed the tourists a first ever series win on English soil.

A humiliating winter Ashes defeat in Australia prompted change at the top with a new head coach in Peter Moores, a new managing director in Paul Downton, and new chairman of selectors in James Whitaker having been installed, but Boycott fears Cook’s position is rapidly becoming untenable.

Boycott said: “Cook is too stubborn an individual to resign because he would see it as a sign of weakness.

“Downton, Whitaker and Moores have hung their hats on him taking England forward, so if they were to sack him so quickly after all they have said about the new era, it would be embarrassing for them.

“So we are stuck with him. But they can be as supportive as they want and he can be as stubborn as he wants but if he fails with the bat in the first Test against India at Nottingham, which starts on July 9th, and we lose again, then public opinion and the media will be so vocal he may be hounded out.”

Cook remained defiant in the immediate aftermath of what proved to be a heartbreaking defeat, but his personal lack of form with the bat has been exacerbated by questions over his captaincy.

Having arguably batted for too long in the first Test at Lord’s and then found themselves failing in a race against the clock to bowl the Sri Lankans out for a second time, England surrendered a position of strength at Headingley and ultimately, the series.

Boycott said: “We are watching the same old rubbish and we cannot go on playing like this. We have to stop spurning chances to win. At Headingley, Cook gave a lesson in how to lose a Test match from a winning position.

“He had no imagination, no plan B and no different tactics as Angelo Mathews batted Sri Lanka into a winning position. It was just mind boggling.

“You have to have a feel for captaincy. You cannot go to bloody school or learn it from a book.”

Boycott also accused James Anderson and Stuart Broad of bowling “absolute tripe” with the new ball to allow Sri Lanka to establish what proved to be a decisive lead as skipper Angelo Mathews led a rearguard action in his side’s second innings.

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