Former Australian Test captain Kim Hughes reckons Alastair Cook is vulnerable.
He claims the England skipper has technical flaws that are too dangerous to iron out during the Ashes series.
Cook struggled with the bat in his seven Tests against Australia this year, scoring just 359 runs at an average of 25.64.
His performance in Adelaide was particularly worrying for England; the 28-year-old made three and one as his side crashed to a 218-run defeat to go 2-0 down in the series.
Cook appears a shadow of the player he was three years ago, when he cracked 766 runs at an average of 127.7 to lead England to a 3-1 series triumph in Australia.
Hughes said it would be hard for Cook to turn his fortunes around during this series, which moves to the WACA this week.
‘‘He’s struggling with his technique, and he’s been struggling with it for a while,’’ Hughes said.
‘‘I noticed last series that his head is over towards off side, and his front foot gets into the line of the ball.
‘‘That’s when you start to fish for the ball outside off stump, and you play around your pad.
‘‘He just hasn’t looked anywhere near as secure as what he looked previously.
‘‘He’s looked vulnerable for a while now and it’s difficult to fix during a series because you’re worried about other things rather than focusing on the ball.
‘‘You can’t walk out in the middle of a Test match and be experimenting and thinking about your footwork, otherwise you will end up in a mess,’’ he said.
‘‘Like most people, if you lose confidence, it can be a frustrating game.’’
England batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance flew to Perth early so they could play against a Western Australia 2nd XI in a three-day match, which started yesterday.