England captain Alastair Cook's dreadful run of form continued as he was dismissed for just 22 on the fourth day of the second Test against India at Lord's on Sunday.
The left-handed opener fell in all-too familiar fashion when, having batted for more than two hours, he pushed at a ball outside off stump from seamer Ishant Sharma and was caught behind for the second time in the match by opposing captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
That made it 27 innings since the 29-year-old Cook had scored the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds.
Cook has yet to make 30 this home Test season following scores of 17 and 28 against Sri Lanka at Lord's, 17 and 16 against the Islanders at Headingley, five in England's lone innings in the drawn first Test against India at Trent Bridge last week and 10 in the first innings at Lord's.
The more immediate concern for England was that Cook's latest dismissal came during a collapse that saw England lose three wickets for two runs as they slumped to 72 for four chasing an imposing 319 for victory in a bid to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
Cook's slump has coincided with an England run of nine Tests without a win, their worst for more than 20 years.
Before play began Sunday, Michael Vaughan became the latest former England captain to suggest Cook needed to shed the responsibilities of leadership if he was to regain his form as a batsman.
“We have reached the stage with Cook when he cannot be enjoying cricket. You don't when you are not playing well and the team is struggling,” Vaughan, England's 2005 Ashes-winning captain, wrote in his Telegraph column.
“It is easy for the England and Wales Cricket Board hierarchy to say it is going to stick by him but it has to ask what is best for the team and for Cook.
“The ECB has a responsibility to Cook the person to do the right thing and if that means taking the captaincy away then so be it.” – AFP