Alastair Cook: Nasser Hussain says England should drop captain

England captain Alastair Cook
Cook has not made an ODI century since June 2012

There is still time for England to replace Alastair Cook as captain before the World Cup, says former skipper Nasser Hussain.

England's one-day series defeat in Sri Lanka was their fourth in a row under Cook, who scored 119 runs in six games.

They have a maximum of five ODIs before their opening World Cup game against Australia on 14 February.

"It would not be too much of a gamble. It should have happened months ago," Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.external-link

Alastair Cook: England captain has to 'wait and see'

"More dynamic players should have been given time to bed into the side."

Left-handed opener Cook, who turns 30 on Christmas Day, has not scored a half-century in his last 22 ODI innings.

Early this month, he was named as captain of England's provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which must be reduced to 15 players by 7 January.

On Saturday, England will announce a 16-man party for January's tri-series in Australia against the host nation and India.

Head coach Peter Moores has said there is no guarantee of Cook being captain for the World Cup, while England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton said he would be surprised if Cook did not lead the side.

"We put Test cricket first in this country and that means that predominantly Test batsmen in myself, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss have been in charge for the last three World Cups," said Hussain, who led England at the 2003 tournament in South Africa.

"The fact that Cook is still having to work out his best way to play spin in one-day cricket is a disgrace."

England's recent World Cup record
YearStage reachedCaptainHosts
2011Quarter-finalsAndrew StraussIndia, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh
2007Super EightsMichael VaughanWest Indies
2003First group stageNasser HussainSouth Africa
1999First group stageAlec StewartEngland, Wales, Scotland & Ireland
1996Quarter-finalsMike AthertonPakistan, India & Sri Lanka

Eoin Morgan, the England vice-captain, scored only 90 runs in seven innings in Sri Lanka, including 62 when he deputised for Cook in the fourth ODI.

"He is England's most important batsman in the one-day game, but his form has in many ways been worse than Cook's," said Hussain, who played 96 Tests and 88 ODIs.

"The captaincy seems to have brought something like the best out of him recent times so maybe that would galvanise him now.

"It is a question of whether they want to rock the boat and hurt the captain they have put such store in by admitting they were wrong and giving the captaincy to Eoin Morgan or, at a push, Joe Root."

England have never won the World Cup, and have failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals since 1996.

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