Ponting: Cook won't get better as a batsman

Australia

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been scathing in his assessment of England skipper Alastair Cook's form, saying Cook would not improve as a batsman even if he gave up the captaincy.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been scathing in his assessment of England skipper Alastair Cook's form, saying Cook would not improve as a batsman even if he gave up the captaincy.

Cook has not scored a Test century in more than a year, spanning nearly 30 innings, and the calls for him to be sacked as skipper grew louder following their 95-run defeat to India at Lord's in the second Test.

Most feel Cook should stay on as batsman but give up the leadership, but Ponting, a commentator since his retirement, feels Cook would just be maintaining a status quo and wouldn't get much better as an opener this late in his career.

Ponting told the <i>Australian Broadcasting Corporation</i>: "He'll try and find ways to sort of hang on and maintain a certain level.

"There's no doubt that the struggles of his team will be having a big impact on the way that he's playing.

"I don't think he's going to get any better as a player."

The other call in the wake of Lord's was to drop wicketkeeper Matt Prior given his poor form behind the stumps and with the bat, but the player himself has withdrawn his services and will undergo Achilles surgery.

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