Warne questions 'boring, negative, unimaginative' Cook

Australia

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has suggested captain Alastair Cook's "negative" approach will cost England the Ashes series.

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has suggested captain Alastair Cook's "negative" approach will cost England the Ashes series.

Opening batsman Joe Root, meanwhile, has copped criticism – after a string of low scores against the touring Aussies in the United Kingdom earlier this year.

While a standout century at Lord's epitomised Root's talent, scores of five in Nottingham, eight in Manchester, two at Chester-le-Street and 11 at The Oval typified his struggles at the top of the order.

"Cook can be negative, boring, not very imaginative – and still win and be pretty happy. But I think he needs to be more imaginative. If Australia play well and he continues to captain the way he does, I think England are going to lose the series," <i>Sky Sports</i> quoted Warne as saying.

"I don't think he can captain like that. I call it as I see it. And I'm not the only one who thinks Cook is a negative captain. He lets the game drift. He waits for the game to come to him.

"I don't think Root's an opener because of his technique. Australia found him out in England, and in Australian conditions they'll find him out more. You can't get stuck on the crease in Australia because of the pace of the wickets.

"It could be crucifying him if he has got to face Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson on some fast, bouncy pitches. I think he's just going to nick off a lot. Besides Lord's, where he got 180, Australia really did have his number."

The first Test will get underway in Brisbane on 21 November. Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will host fixtures two, three, four and five respectively.

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