Vaughan: There's huge pressure on Cook

England

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has cautioned that the pressure on skipper Alastair Cook will be huge when the Tests against Sri Lanka begin, with all eyes on his leadership following the Ashes.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has cautioned that the pressure on skipper Alastair Cook will be huge when the Tests against Sri Lanka begin, with all eyes on his leadership following the Ashes.

While Cook has an Ashes win under his belt, as well as a series win in India, that seems to count for nothing with fans and the media as they head into their first Tests series since the Down Under Disaster.

Vaughan, himself brought to tears and resignation by a southern hemisphere side, has spoken from experience, saying Cook's every move and mistake will be closely monitored next month.

Vaughan told BBC Sport: "Alastair will be excited but also very nervous. The pressure is on him. Any failure, any disappointment will be jumped on by a lot of people.

"Even though he's won an Ashes and won in India, Cook will probably feel like this is a fresh start, what he's going to be judged on as an England captain.

"He has made some tough calls. He has got rid of his best pal – batting coach Graham Gooch – although I believe it was a management decision and a Peter Moores coaching decision as much as Alastair Cook's.

"He has got rid of the man who has scored more runs for England than anyone else in Kevin Pietersen so, although the public will be behind him, there will also be more pressure on the England side.

"The combination of Cook and Peter Moores is going to be under scrutiny. We are all looking to see how they are going to come out and play.

"Moores has said he wants to excite the fans. We will see over the next few months whether that has changed."

Former England spinner Graeme Swann, who retired in the middle of the Australia tour, reiterated the fans wanting to back Cook, but needing to see a big improvement and a bigger desire from the players.

Swann told the BBC: "Alastair Cook will be desperate for a couple of new heroes to emerge and really stamp their names on proceedings for the summer and become the new faces of English cricket.

"The team did become a bit distant and disconnect from the fans so it is important to reengage that relationship. If no one turns up to watch no one is going to get paid.

"We need to play in front of full houses, we need to play exciting cricket, but most importantly we just need to win. Three or four wins at the start of this summer and all will be forgotten."

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