Ex-Hampshire skipper Shane Warne urges England skipper Cook to assert his authority

Daily Echo: Ex-Hampshire skipper Shane Warne urges England skipper Cook to assert his authority Ex-Hampshire skipper Shane Warne urges England skipper Cook to assert his authority

Former Hampshire captain Shane Warne believes England captain Alistair Cook has to assert his authority in order to change the fortunes of the team.

Australian leg-spinning legend Warne has been a prominent critic of Cook's style of captaincy for some time and believes the left-handed opener can take a leaf out of opposite number Michael Clarke's book.

“Alastair Cook is a wonderful guy, he's a fantastic spokesman for the team, the way he conducts himself on and off the field is outstanding, the way he's got the dressing room together is outstanding, but he really needs to lift tactically,” said Warne.

“He needs to grab the team and say 'I'm in charge'.

“If you look at the Australian team, you know exactly who's in charge. There's no one else waving the field around, there's no other bowlers telling people where to go. Michael Clarke's in charge.

“Alastair Cook needs to take charge now."

Warne was also quick to point out that England should not rush to make changes for what will be dead rubbers in Melbourne and Sydney, stating that England's senior players deserve the chance to prove their credentials.

The batsmen have come in for heavy criticism, with rookie Ben Stokes registering England's first century in this Ashes series, something which Warne believes is unacceptable.

“There shouldn't be some wholesale changes. They should stick to the same team, maybe shuffle the batting order around,” he added.

“For the young kid to set the example of how to fight in his second Test match is a real slap in the face for the senior England players.”

While England pundits and fans are fearing the worst, Warne does see reason for optimism, but warned they must improve or suffer another 5-0 whitewash against Australia.

“England need to work out how to bowl to a few players and stick to it, they need to show a lot more fight and if England actually do that in these last two Test matches they can get a lot out of it and they can win some Test matches,” he said.

“If they don't and they don't improve their attitude and improve their fight, and Australia are allowed to boss the game, take charge and bully the tail then unfortunately it's going to be 5-0.”

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