Strauss does not want Cook discarded

England

Former skipper Andrew Strauss has implored England to retain captain Alastair Cook ahead of next year's World Cup.

Former skipper Andrew Strauss has implored England to retain captain Alastair Cook ahead of next year's World Cup.

Heavy defeat to India in Tuesday's fourth ODI at Edgbaston in Birmingham left England with just two series triumphs since June 2012, when Australia were outdone four-nil in London and surrounds.

Meanwhile, the left-handed Cook's poor stretch of form at the top of the limited-overs batting order has been the subject of plenty of criticism. He has managed a mere 72 runs in three innings against the Indians this series – and has not scored a century in this format of the international game since June 2012.

"I don't think the right answer is to just discard him as captain before the World Cup – it is too close to that event now. You've got to stick with him but he hs got to find a way of resurrecting his form and setting the tone," Strauss told <i>Sky Sports</i>.

"I think that's what we need to see from him a little bit more in one-day cricket – reacting to the ball coming down at him. He knows where his strong areas are and it's about committing to them, but at the moment he doesn't look in great form.

"He is very much part of the solution. If he can get himself back on board then – as happened in the Test series – the other players take confidence. They think: 'The captain's not under so much pressure, so we're under less pressure ourselves and can go out and play in a more positive manner'."

The English have been pooled with Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland at next year's World Cup in Australasia. Their first fixture will be against the Aussies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 14 February.

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