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Cook’s captaincy under question again after India ODI collapse

Just when it seemed the pressure had gone from Alastair Cook’s shoulders, following England’s impressive 3-1 victory over India in the Test series, the Essex opener and the national side are the subject of much criticism again.

Test and ODI captain Cook had a brief exchange of words with friend and old teammate Graeme Swann, via the media, the previous week, and it seems the former spinning great is at it again. This time aimed at coach Peter Moores.

“You don’t necessarily need to change personnel but what desperately needs to change is their attitude towards how you win a one-day game,” said Swann.

“If the England management, captain and selectors cannot see there is a burning issue that needs to be changed, then I am worried, angry and sad.

“If they start spouting rubbish about ‘not executing our plans’ then we really should be worried because sanity is not prevailing.

“I call on Moores to play this exciting brand of cricket that he talked about, because he’s not doing it at the moment.”

Following the crushing nine-wicket defeat at Edgbaston to India in the fourth ODI, to make it 3-0 in the series, Cook said: “It’s been a very tough day. In the Test match series we turned it round and then on a high we’ve played some bad cricket – I don’t quite know why that is, but we have to try to find the reason for that.

“The most frustrating thing is when you don’t play anywhere near your potential and that’s what we’ve done and there are no excuses for that.”

“India have out-skilled us,” he added.

“They bowled better than us, they fielded better than us and they certainly batted better than us, so unfortunately it’s a hard place to be at the moment, but we just need to stay true to ourselves and really back our beliefs and work incredibly hard.”

People do seem to be forgetting, though, that India are number one in the ICC ODI world rankings, so England should never have expected to steam-role Duncan Fletcher’s side, with Moores’ men four places below.

England certainly need a change, however, with this being the fifth successive ODI series loss under Cook. We need our commanding record-breaking batsman back, and it seems he has lost all his confidence since taking over the captaincy.

He has now gone more than a year without a Test hundred, and calls for him to quit, certainly as one-day skipper, should be answered. The World Cup is approaching fast, from February 14th – March 29th, 2015, and Cook should certainly pass on the mantle, for his and England’s sake.

The fifth and final ODI against India takes place on Friday September 5th, with the hosts 6/5 to win and salvage something from the series.