Alastair Cook: England captain should be replaced - Vaughan

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport at Lord's
Cook's career at risk, says Vaughan

Alastair Cook should be removed as England captain and replaced by Middlesex's Eoin Morgan, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

Cook has not made a hundred in 27 innings and has overseen nine Tests without a victory.

"It is probably the right thing for him, the person, to be taken away from the England captaincy," Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.

"Morgan has fresh eyes, a new approach. It can't be any worse."

Cook scored the last of his England record 25 Test centuries against New Zealand in May 2013 and is averaging 14.33 in five Tests this year.

Since winning the Ashes last summer, Cook has overseen a 5-0 whitewash by Australia down under and a 1-0 home defeat by Sri Lanka.

There has been no sign of an upturn in the ongoing series against India, with England battling to avoid going 1-0 down in the second Test at Lord's on Monday.

Vaughan added: "A real decision needs to be made about Alastair Cook.

"I look at the way he's played - he's not scored a hundred in 27 innings, tactically he's been all at sea for a while now.

Alastair Cook's run of low scores this summer
17 & 28First Test v Sri Lanka, Lord's
17 & 16Second Test v Sri Lanka, Headingley
5First Test v India, Trent Bridge
10 & 22Second Test v India, Lord's

"Go and spend four or five months away from cricket. He's 29 years of age, he's been in this environment for eight years non-stop. That takes its toll as a player never mind with the captaincy burden as well.

"Would he be better suited just having a massive break from the game, come back next year, play a bit of cricket with the Lions maybe in February, go to the Caribbean in April, get himself ready for the Ashes series next year as an opening batsman?

"Because that is what England are missing most - Alastair Cook averaging 45 at the top of the order. If he can get himself back to that level, English cricket will be better for it."

Morgan, an attacking left-handed batsman, has not played Test cricket since February 2012 and averages a modest 30.43 in 16 matches.

But he averages 73 in seven matches as England's stand-in one-day captain, led the England Lions in 2012, and has impressed with his proactive approach as Middlesex limited-overs skipper this season.

"I'm going to bring in Eoin Morgan to bat at six and captain," Vaughan said. "I think that would really help England attack the opposition.

Alastair Cook
Former England captain Alec Stewart says Cook's captaincy "won't be missed" - but that the team need his runs

"I want someone who has not been in this environment, with fresh eyes and a fresh approach."

Former England captain Alec Stewart said Cook is more important to the team as a batsman than a captain.

"He's suffering. What's the saying? Death by a thousand cuts. Well I reckon he's received about 950 and he can't take too many more," Stewart said on TMS.

"For the good of Alastair Cook and, in the short term, for the good of English cricket, something has to be done. Because, being brutally honest, if Alastair Cook stands down as captain we won't miss his captaincy. But we are missing his prolific run-scoring at the top of the order.

"However he believes he will regain his form as batsman, that has to be the priority."