England vs India second Test: Andrew Strauss backs Alastair Cook not to be sacked by the ECB but refuses to tip him for long-term success

Cook's position as skipper is under severe scrutiny after a string of poor performances with the bat has coincided with a nine-match winless streak

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The Independent Online

Andrew Strauss sees no immediate prospect of Alastair Cook being removed as England captain - but stopped short of offering him his long-term backing.

Cook's position has been under almost constant scrutiny this summer due to concerns over both his form as an opening batsman and the tactical side of his captaincy.

But his predecessor Strauss believes he will at least see out the ongoing Investec Test series against India - particularly given the faith shown in him by the England and Wales Cricket Board when Kevin Pietersen was axed from the squad following the winter's Ashes whitewash.

"I don't think he's going to be sacked," Strauss told Sky Sports News. "I think the ECB have placed a lot of faith in Alastair Cook.

"I also think halfway through the series, with the series still alive, would be the wrong time to do it."

With the first Test having been drawn at Trent Bridge, the five-Test series will still be up for grabs whatever the outcome at Lord's on Monday.

Cook, though, has made just 59 runs at an average of less than 15 in the two games and has now gone 27 innings without a Test century and nine without even a fifty.

Strauss continued: "I still think the best case for England, certainly in the short term, is for Alastair Cook to regain form and for England to find a way of winning this Test series, and then the picture's looking a lot rosier than it is right at the moment.

"Unless Alastair Cook, deep down, thinks 'I can't continue any more, the pressure's getting too much for me, it's affecting my batting too much' and calls it a day himself, I do expect him to be captaining in the next Test match."

The third Test begins on Sunday at Southampton.