FORMER England fast bowler Neil Foster believes the time is right for Alastair Cook to stand down as the national side’s one-day captain.
Foster is still confident that Cook can bounce back from his – and England’s – miserable winter in Australia. Cook leads England into their fourth one-day international in Perth tomorrow morning on the back of nine successive defeats in all formats of the game.
And those results, coupled with Cook’s lack of form, has led him to consider his position as one-day skipper.
Foster, who played nearly 50 limited-overs matches for England during a successful career, feels Cook should quit as one-day captain, to concentrate on scoring runs.
But the 51-year-old former Essex star still believes his county counterpart is the man to lead his country in the Test Match arena.
Foster said: “I don’t think Alastair’s the obvious one-day captain. “Having the added pressure of being captain and a player looking for runs isn’t helping him.
“I think one of the main things we have to do is find a way of him scoring lots of runs for us.
“The collective form of the side isn’t helping Alastair either at the moment and it’s been an awful winter for England.
“When no-one in the team is scoring runs it makes scoring runs much harder as captain, because you want to lead from the front.
“Alastair is one of the best players England have ever had and it’s a given that we pick him in the Test Match side.
“Alastair is under a lot of scrutiny and he’s getting a lot of criticism at the moment.
“It’s been an awful winter but he’ll get better as a Test captain if they stick with him.
“I do think that he can bounce back from what has happened this winter.” Foster, who played for Essex between 1980 to 1993, had highs and lows on tour during his international career. He was part of the England Ashes side that triumphed Down Under in 1987.
“I’ve been part of an England squad that has toured Australia in the past,” said Foster, who was part of the England one-day side that reached the World Cup Final in Australia, in 1992.
“We were there for four and a half months and in those days, the tours were a lot longer.
“You’re away from home for a long time and it’s made even tougher when you’re not doing well as a team.
“I went to the West Indies with England, we had one victory in three months and it’s a very depressing thing.
“Everyone thinks it must be great to be part of a touring party but it’s only great when you’re a good team and winning matches.”