• Cricket

Warne makes peace with under-fire Cook

ESPN staff
July 18, 2014
Shane Warne may have moved to bury the hatchet but Alastair Cook's captaincy skills have been heavily criticised again © Getty Images

Shane Warne has "cleared the air" with Alastair Cook after he labelled the England batsman's captaincy skills the "worst I've ever seen."

Warne's scathing criticism came last month following England's Headingley Test against Sri Lanka, but the former spinner indicated he has since phoned Cook to bury the hatchet.

"It was all starting to get a bit out of control," Warne said. "I asked for his number and I texted him to see if we could have five minutes on the phone.

"We spoke for about an hour about lots of different things. I had my say, he had his say. He told me how he felt and I told him how I felt about certain things. It was good to clear the air and it was amicable. It was just good to speak about stuff other than cricket as well."

Warne's approach should end Cook's suspicion that the long-runningcriticism was getting personal but their peace may well be a delicate one.

Cook's captaincy is still the subject of much debate and, after India's revival on the first day of the second Test on Thursday, his tactics came under fire once more. This time it was from former England opener Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss, Cook's predecessor as skipper.

India recovered from 145 for 7 to 290 for 9 at stumps as Ajinkya Rahane helped add 150 runs to their score during the evening session, despite the pitch favouring England's bowling attack.

Boycott said: "As a batsman, I start thinking that I'm going to get out if I get four good balls an over. England couldn't manage that. They could only do it once an over. They then lost the plot when Liam Plunkett went round the wicket and started to bang it in. Cook is not going to make it as a tactical captain - the lads might like him in the dressing room, but not as a tactical captain. Sorry."

Strauss was also unhappy with Cook's approach. He said: "England have sat back here rather than make things happen. You can go a long way towards winning a game on the first morning at Lord's but you have to make things happen. I can't fathom some of the tactics."

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