If this was the beginning of the end for Alastair Cook, then his final few acts as England’s 50-over captain are set to be very gory indeed.
Cook’s position as the ODI leader for the World Cup got its most loose voice of support yet, as coach Peter Moores admitted that “everything will be reviewed” following England’s 90-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the sixth ODI.
The comments came after a particularly dour day at the office for the left-hander, who was dismissed for another low-score with the bat but dropped a crucial, and simple, catch off Kumar Sangakkara, who proved to be the matchwinner.
Cook’s lean spell with the bat continued when he was out LBW to Sachithra Senanayake off just his second delivery. He is currently averaging 17.40 across the six matches in this series and has been out LBW to a spinner three times in his last five knocks.
With his lack of form heaping the pressure onto his shoulders, Cook must perform as both a fielder and a tactician to stop the load from becoming unbearable and his spill of Sangakkara, who was on 41 at the time and went on to score 112, proved to be the game’s turning point.
Cook’s slippery grip on the captain’s tag becomes even more greasy when it’s considered that the only ODI series England have won this year came when the Essex man was rested.
Candidates to replace the beleaguered skipper are sure to be led by Eoin Morgan, the vice captain to Cook, with the likes of Joe Root, T20 skipper Stuart Broad and outsiders like Jos Buttler and James Taylor some way behind.
But with Moores admitting that England are striving to find the best side to help them win the World Cup, which is a 10/1 possibility, it is becoming even more clear that the XI cannot include Cook.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.