Prior took the decision to step down from the team for the rest of the series mainly because of his woeful form and injuries, saying he was not doing justice to his job.

Cook's batting failure -- he has scored only 115 runs in his last seven innings -- coupled with poor captaincy has prompted several former cricketers to call for his ouster.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said Cook had the potential to score 13000 Test runs but if he continues to struggle like this, it may spell doom for his career.

"I know the England and Wales Cricket Board has invested a lot of time and effort in Cook's captaincy but sometimes you have to accept that something is not working. Stubbornness is a useful character trait when you are an opening batsman. But when it comes to decision-making, it can be damaging," Vaughan wrote in his column for Daily Telegraph.

"..Somewhere deep down, I believe Cook wants the selectors to step in and pull him out of the fire, before it gets so hot that we lose him for good. This is a man with the capacity to score 13,000 Test runs.

Vaughan suggested that Cook should be given a break from the game to rejuvenate himself just like some of the greats did in the past.

"For me, Cook would be best off taking a six-month break and chilling out with his family. Shane Warne missed a year of cricket in 2003 thanks to the diet-pill controversy, and some of his best performances came after that suspension. Geoff Boycott skipped a lot of series during his many years with England and look how many runs he finished up with."

"Resting him now might look like a harsh decision, as if you were shooting down a loyal servant. But in fact it would be a kindness to protect Cook from the strain that comes with representing England day-in, day-out. I want to see him play another six years of Test cricket.

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