Alastair Cook will not “make it as a tactical captain”, according to former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott.
England skipper Cook was criticised after his side
on the opening day of the second Test against India at Lord’s.
On a pitch helpful to the bowlers, India recovered from 145-7 to reach 290-9 at the close.
“He might make it scoring runs, but he won’t make it as a tactical captain,” said Boycott.
In the second Test of England’s series defeat by Sri Lanka,
A failure to polish off the tail was also evident in the
when the tourists enjoyed a 10th-wicket stand of 111 in their first innings and recovered from 184-6 on the final day to reach the safety of 391-9 declared in the second innings of a drawn game at Trent Bridge.
Boycott was particularly critical of the tactic at Lord’s of Liam Plunkett bowling short and round the wicket at the India batsmen.
“England lost the plot twice – once when Liam Plunkett had to go round the wicket on a pitch which is doing something because they couldn’t get enough balls in good areas to make the batsmen play at the ball,” said Boycott,
“It’s down to the captain and bowler. Cook has to accept some responsibility. He has to say, ‘hang on, I’m not having that, you’re going to have to bowl better’. He approves of it by allowing it to go on.
“Secondly, we finished up with three men on the boundary for the hook. What is going on? The pitch is still green.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said India, led by Ajinkya Rahane’s century, might have batted themselves into a winning position on the opening day.
“England bowled too wide and too short in the first session,” he said. “They were fantastic in the second session – they pitched it up.
“But in the last session they were dreadful. You looked at the body language and England looked desperate to get in the dressing room. You can lose Test matches on sessions like that.”
Once England take India’s final wicket, Cook, 29, will open the batting for England hoping to reverse a run of form which has seen him score only 606 runs in his last 13 Tests at an average of 24.24.
“If he fails twice, he should drop himself and go back to Essex and get some runs,” added Boycott, who scored 8,114 runs in 108 Tests between 1964 and 1982.
“He can then come back as captain if they want him, but certainly as a batsman because, with 25 Test hundreds, he’s that good.
“He doesn’t have to get a big score – we want to see him get 40, 50, 60 – a hundred would be a big plus. We want him to occupy the crease and bat nicely.
“Everything about England at the moment is about whether Alastair Cook can score runs. It can’t go on forever.”
Listen to Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew review the day’s play on the