Another One Day International, another Alastair Cook failure.
It was yet another nervy, tortuous knock from the England captain, who survived an early shout for LBW and several other near misses before finally nicking one to Mahela Jayawardene on 32.
Cook has passed 50 just once in the 22 ODIs he has played since June 2013, compiling 531 runs at the paltry average of 25.28.
During this run, his struggles have consistently undermined England’s attempts to take advantage of the crucial powerplay overs, with Cook scoring his runs at a strike rate of under 70.
In that time, his side has won just eight games, with England lurching towards another reversal when Cook’s dismissal left the side at 51-3 chasing 303.
The England management have been resolute in backing their man but, after the latest failure, the question looms large: just how badly does the England captain have to perform to get dropped?
There are a series of axed England batsmen who will be wondering just that…
Craig Kieswetter combined his wicket-keeping duties with roles as an opener and middle-order batsman. In his final 21 matches, he scored 373 runs at 33.90, with a healthy strike rate of 86.14, but was dropped midway through the 2013 ODI series with India, and never regained his place. He is likely to miss the whole of next season after picking up a terrible eye injury.
Michael Lumb was picked as a stop-gap after injuries hit the England squad in the West Indies earlier this year. The powerful left-hander seized his opportunity with 106 off 116 balls on debut, an England record. However, he was ditched after just two matches, to make way for Cook.
Cook’s style and temperament are not ideally suited to the shorter formats. However, the same could be said of Ed Joyce. The patient opener scored 430 runs in his final 12 innings for England at a healthy 35.83, including a memorable 107 against Australia. Joyce was ditched after the 2007 World Cup, and has become a key player for his native Ireland.
The stylish opener Vikram Solanki never quite transferred his talent and county form to the international arena. In his final 11 England appearances he averaged 32.85, but it wasn’t enough for him to keep his place.
Doubts persist over his attitude and fitness, but in his final 19 ODIs Samit Patel averaged 45.71 from the England middle-order, scoring at 94 runs per 100 balls, as well as picking up 9 wickets with his useful left-arm spin. His last appearance came in January 2013.Reuse content