Botham thinks Morgan could succeed Cook

England

Former England captain Ian Botham has suggested batsman Eoin Morgan replace current Test skipper Alastair Cook.

Former England captain Ian Botham has suggested batsman Eoin Morgan replace current Test skipper Alastair Cook.

The English have have slipped to heavy defeats in the longest form of the international game at the hands of Australia and Sri Lanka this year – and earlier this week suffered a 95-run defeat to India in the second match at Lord's.

Cook's stretch of form without a Test century is nearing 30 innings – and criticism is mounting ahead of Tests three, four and five at the Rose Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval respectively.

Morgan has captained the T20I and ODI teams on several occasions – and remains a key part of Middlesex's middle order in division one of the County Championship this season.

"Cook is a very good man and leader of people and he could come in with a breath of fresh air. I think the captaincy has become too much of a burden on Cook and he needs to stop and have a break," Botham told <i>Sky Sports</i>.

"The situation is affecting how he is thinking out on the field – he looks tired, scrambled and is not changing his fields – so I would advise him to go and clear his head for a couple of weeks.

"I also think he needs to stop playing ODI cricket as when he was playing at his best and leaving the ball outside off-stump very well he wasn't playing in the shortest forms.

"And I would throw the name of Morgan out there in terms of the captaincy, as he is a very good man and leader of people and he could come in with a breath of fresh air and score runs in the middle order, too."

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior and spinner Simon Kerrigan have been omitted for the third Test, which will get underway in Southampton on Sunday. The uncapped Jos Buttler has been called up.

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