Indian nightmare continues but Cook refuses to quit as skipper

Ross McLean
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Skipper Alastair Cook has lost five succesive one-day series
BEWILDERED skipper Alastair Cook hinted at a cull of England’s under-performers should his side continue to show a lack of fight, but dismissed any suggestion of resigning after India wrapped up the one-day series with a thumping nine-wicket victory at Edgbaston yesterday.

Lifeless England were brutally crushed as opener Ajinkya Rahane scored his maiden century for India and Shikhar Dhawan posted 97 as the tourists chased down their target with 117 balls to spare.

Only all-rounder Moeen Ali – one of three changes as Ian Bell, James Tredwell and Ben Stokes were dropped – demonstrated any form of fluency with the bat, scoring 67 in England’s meagre total of 206 all out.

England trail India 3-0 in the series with Friday’s final match at Headingley to come, not ideal preparation for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and Cook believes a revamp of the squad might prove a suitable tonic

“No-one is nailing down their places and people aren’t performing,” said Cook. “If people aren’t hungry to keep working and try to turn it around then there’s no place for them in the dressing room.”

While questions have been raised about England’s selection choices and the brand of one-day cricket employed, Cook is adamant he will fight on as captain despite suffering his fifth successive one-day series defeat in charge.

“I’ve captained for three years with the goal to try and win the World Cup and I’m still hungry to do it,” added Cook.

“The frustrating thing is that, every side I seem to play in for England, there’s a question about my place.”