Botham: Replace Cook with Root

The Sky Sports cricket pundit, a former England skipper himself, says Cook must take his share of the blame for the team’s recent struggles, alongside departed coach Peter Moores who left his role on Saturday after less than 13 months in the post.

Following the appointment of Andrew Strauss as the ECB???s new national director of cricket, it has been mooted that Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie will take over as England coach.

And Botham believes the Australian would be an ideal choice to replace Moores, who oversaw the recent drawn Test series against West Indies, as well as a dismal display at the World Cup.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, England’s second-highest Test wicket-taker said: “The shake-up that the England cricket team has long needed is under way and the selection of Jason Gillespie as coach would be a perfect fit.

“But he should not be the only new appointment in the dressing room, he should be taking charge alongside Joe Root.

???It is time for Alastair Cook to move aside and take some of the responsibility for the mistakes that have been made over the last 18 months.

“He has seen off almost all the coaches and management from the debacle Down Under (2013-14 Ashes whitewash), he has seen (former director) Paul Downton come and go and now Peter Moores, yet he is still captain. How does that work?

“Moores appears to be the man taking the flak and responsibility for what happened in the Caribbean but didn’t the captain pick the team too?

“The coach has been axed, part of which is down to a lack of international nous. Well, I want to know what Alastair Cook is doing with 100-plus caps worth of Test match experience, because I’m not seeing it.

“Cook is a fine Test batsman but he is not a captain. I would give the job to Root and tell him to mould an attacking team with an attacking coach in Gillespie.”

As for 40-year-old Gillespie, Botham added: “I have got a lot of time for Jason and he is the outstanding candidate for the job.

“I think we would be lucky to have him coach and manage our players.”

Meanwhile, incoming chairman of the ECB, Colin Graves, has confirmed that Strauss will pick England’s new head coach.

Graves, who will start in the role this Thursday, told The Times: “It is Andrew Strauss who takes that call as he builds his team around him. We will not rush into any decision overnight.

“The decision to sack Peter Moores was not a knee-jerk one and this will not be either. Andrew will have an idea who he has in mind and wants to talk to.

“It is his recommendation and he will bring that to (chief executive) Tom Harrison and then to me.”

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