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Cricket: England off-spinner Swann stands by captain Cook criticism


England's Alastair Cook plays a shot during the second one-day international cricket match between England and India at the Glamorgan County Cricket Ground in Cardiff, Wales. Photo - AFP

London: Graeme Swann reiterated on Friday his call to Alastair Cook to stand down as England's One-day captain and quit limited overs internationals completely, saying the team's current approach to the 50-over game was akin to a "two-litre diesel in a Formula One race".

The former off-spinner, who retired from international duty during England's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, had first urged Cook to stand down on Monday, saying the side did not have a "cat in hell's chance" of winning next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Cook rejected his one-time team-mate's comments by labelling Swann a "so-called friend" following England's 133-run defeat by India in the second One-day International in Cardiff on Wednesday.

However, in his Sun column published on Friday, Swann said: "Real mates are honest with each other.

I'm no longer in the England dressing room and it is my job now as a pundit to give my honest thoughts.

"I think being One-day captain is a poisoned chalice for him. He just doesn't need the job.

"The cricket England are playing in 50-over cricket is outdated and I fear it will be a painful winter for the team."

Swann added: "I don't want him to be part of it. This is not a witch-hunt against 'Cookie' and I'm still a huge supporter of his captaincy in Test cricket.

"But, in One-day matches, I want England to play the exciting cricket they promised six months ago when Peter Moores took over as head coach.

"We're happy to tootle along in a two-litre diesel in a Formula One race.

"England must change their strategy to have any chance of winning the World Cup.

"I'm 100 per cent behind him as Test captain. But, in One-day cricket, you should pick your 11 best players and choose your captain from there and I don't think he is one of the best 11 players."

England 1-0 down in a five-match series where Monday's opening fixture in Bristol was washed out completely, play world champions India again in the third ODI at Nottingham's Trent Bridge ground on Saturday.

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