Boycott plots Cook's 'recipe for resignation'

England

Former batsman Geoffrey Boycott has publicly criticised the captaincy of England's Alastair Cook, as Sri Lanka dominated day four of the second and final Test at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.

Former batsman Geoffrey Boycott has publicly criticised the captaincy of England's Alastair Cook, as Sri Lanka dominated day four of the second and final Test at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.

The tourists climbed to a formidable total of 457 all out on the back of a fine century from skipper Angelo Mathews, who benefited from a weak opposition attack and largely ineffective field placements from Cook.

Seamer Dhammika Prasad later reduced the hosts to 57 for five with a telling four-wicket haul, which included the dismissal of Cook. This latest failure marked the Englishman's 24th consecutive innings without a Test century.

Having struck two boundaries en route to a promising 17, the left-handed Cook attempted a third in pulling a short ball from Prasad. However, he succeeded only in chopping the ball onto his stumps.

"Cook is in that sort of form where he'll get out in ways he couldn't dream up. That was a short long hop which he pulls well, it's one of his favourite shots, and he got an under-side edge onto the stumps," Boycott told <i>Test Match Special</i>.

"It's like when you're playing well and you can plunder runs from anywhere. He cannot get a run, he'll get tenser, it'll get harder for him and I don't know how he's going to get out of it.

"We've had a very, very bad day. From a winning position we will lose, the captain is in terrible form and it's a recipe for resignation. I don't know if he will but it is. He is a top batsman just in bad form, but he's a smashing lad.

"I have no problem with him setting that field, none at all. When it doesn't work, that's when I have a problem with it. Where's the innovation, the invention? Try something different."

While all-rounder Liam Plunkett will finish the match with nine wickets, and was England's lone highlight amid an otherwise poor performance on Monday, Boycott questioned the shaky impact of fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

"I won't say we've played rubbish but there have been moments when we have been rubbish. I'm trying to be honest and sensible and not have any histrionics because we've had a bad day but this was pathetic," he added.

"The bowling of Anderson, one of the best bowlers in the world, swing and seam. We've had two new balls this second innings and he's bowled some tripe at times. Stuart hasn't been that much better."

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