Cricket Expert & Columnist
Ashes 2013/14: Alastair Cook must stamp his authority on a new England team
Skipper must stay on and exert his influence over the players more forcefully...
Last Updated: 05/01/14 10:40am
Cook succeeded Strauss as England captain on a permanent basis in August 2012, since when he has guided the side to victory in India and last summer's Ashes.
But his attempts to replicate his predecessor's 3-1 series victory in Australia in 2010/11 have ended in dismal failure with a 5-0 defeat and Strauss says the time has now come for the opener to stamp his own authority on the team.
"He will have learnt so much over the course of these five matches - probably much more than when England won in England and even more than when England went over to India and won there - because when you lose you find out which players are supporting you, which ones have the stomach for the fight and which ones go missing," said Strauss.
"In some respects he has been found wanting in this series. When the pressure has been on he hasn't grabbed the initiative enough - he's said that himself.
"He's definitely got to take the reins a little bit more strongly and maybe take the reins of Andy Flower a bit more strongly and say 'this is my team, I need to forge a team in my own image'.
"I would still stick with him. He's still relatively inexperienced - he will get better as a captain. I'm absolutely certain about that.
"I know what he's like as a character - he's a guy who doesn't do failure well. He'll go away, learn from it and modify what he's done and come back better."
Australia have won all five Tests by convincing margins, taking the first Test in Brisbane by 381 runs and chalking up a 218-run success in Adelaide. They regained the Ashes courtesy of a 150-run victory in Perth and then stormed to an eight-wicket win in Melbourne.
Following their latest triumph in Sydney, Strauss admitted that Australia had trounced the tourists, who simply didn't show enough fight in being bowled out for 155 and 166 at the SCG to lose by 281 runs.
"It has been brilliant from Australia," he admitted. "They've been outstanding all of the way through the series. You shouldn't take anything away from the way they've gone about their business.
"Today it looked as though there were 11 England players already on the plane. No-one was able to withstand that inevitable Australian onslaught again.
"It's so frustrating. I hate criticising players because I know how tough it is but today was a real bad one.
"We've had so much success as a group and a lot of the players who have been representing England over the last five Test matches have done brilliantly over a long period of time.
"It makes you scratch your head and wonder how things could have deteriorated so quickly. Something is obviously wrong.
"You can look at the scheduling, you can look at everything - there are always excuses but ultimately the 11 players have got to go out on the pitch and perform and they haven't done that."
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Stick with us for plenty more reaction throughout the day before The Ashes Verdict returns at 9pm on Sky Sports 2.