Ashes 2013/14: Alastair Cook must be more proactive as England captain
Skipper needs to be more proactive when game is changing in front of him...
Last Updated: 05/01/14 11:23am
Cook's leadership has come under increasing scrutiny as his team has suffered four Ashes defeats in a row, with Sky Sports pundit Shane Warne particularly critical of some of his tactics.
The 29-year-old, who has led England to victory in India and a 3-0 home Ashes victory since succeeding Andrew Strauss as captain in 2012, insists he is still enjoying the challenge but former England batsman Butcher told The Ashes Verdict that Cook needs to be more proactive.
"There has always been a suspicion that Cook is perhaps not the most intuitive captain England have ever had," he said.
"I think that suspicion has been thoroughly borne out on occasions during this particular tour and particularly on the last day of the Test.
"He defended the decision not to bowl Monty Panesar and defended the decision to bowl his quicks in short bursts because they were waiting for the ball to reverse swing - all of which are perfectly legitimate reasons.
"But unfortunately while all of those things are happening, the game is moving on and it always appears to me that Cook has had a plan that maybe he has discussed with the coach off the field and he kind of goes along with it by numbers as the game goes on.
"So things are changing in front of him but he does nothing about it until such a time as whatever they've pre-planned comes around and then they make another decision.
Butcher, who scored 4,288 runs in 71 Tests, added: "I think that's where people find it frustrating.
"You hear the commentary team out there on a regular basis going 'ok, this is happening now - you need to do something about it now'.
"If the quicks had to come off early, I would have got Monty into the game early while there were still plenty of runs on the board because spin bowlers land the ball in the rough, they can get it roughed up so that it reverse swings quicker.
"Let's face it - if one of your spinners is going to take a wicket or two, it is going to be Monty and not Joe Root.
"So there are plenty of things to consider but it's absolutely correct that you can't blame Cook for the fact that they haven't scored enough runs, but he hasn't scored enough runs, either.
"So the brickbats are going to come his way. The last captain who went down to Australia and lost 5-0 [Andrew Flintoff] wasn't in a job once it was done so he'll be hoping desperately that they can win the Test match in Sydney."
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