Warne slams Cook for 'overly defensive' captaincy in Ashes

Sydney, Aug 15 (ANI): Australian spin legend Shane Warne has slammed England captain Alastair Cook, saying that England had won the Ashes in spite, rather than because, of Cook's 'overly defensive' captaincy.

According to News.com.au, England, who had already retained the Ashes, won the fourth Test at Durham by 74 runs on Monday with more than a day to spare to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead, although the tourists, needing 299 to win, were well placed at 1-120 at tea.

In his latest attack at England, Warne said that Cook was far too defensive early in Australia's second innings, adding that the skipper had a deep point, would move slips out as soon as there was a good shot through the covers.

According to Warne, Cook, who has lost only one Test among 12 as captain, was too reliant on England coach Andy Flower and the team's bowling coach David Saker, adding that Saker and Flower were aware that although England was losing at Durham mainly due to Cook's approach, but the team's luck changed for the better after tea.

Warne also hit out at England bowlers, saying that they bowled too short and not full and at the stumps.

However, England off-spinner and leading wicket-taker in the Ashes, Graeme Swann defended his captain, saying that Cook's critics were wide of the mark as he knows that Cook can be very calculating and also both aggressive and defensive when needed, which makes him an excellent captain.

Meanwhile, Warne's former teammate Glenn McGrath said there was a hint of the old 'Baggy Green mentality' in the England team, adding that the Australian squad he played in had a certain aura and could beat teams sometimes even before they walked on the field.

Although McGrath said that England has not reached that stage yet, he however, admitted that the Ashes hosts have got confidence and belief in themselves after playing twelve Tests without defeat and five wins in six, adding that the result becomes much easier for players when they are playing in a good team.

McGrath further said that the opposite also holds true as when a side is used to losing, they somehow keep on finding ways to lose. (ANI)

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