Johannesburg: Leading England out of their Ashes slump will be the biggest challenge of captain Alastair Cook`s career, according to former skipper Nasser Hussain, a report said.
According to Sport24, after three series successes, England relinquished their grip on the urn on Tuesday when Australia recorded a third consecutive Test victory in Perth to establish an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
With Tests in Melbourne and Sydney still to come, England are at risk of a humiliating series whitewash, and Hussain wants Cook to stand up and be counted, the report said.
Another former England captain, Michael Atherton, has urged Cook to view the situation as a chance to rebuild the team that he inherited from predecessor Andrew Strauss, the report added.
England`s batsmen have struggled in Australia , with 22-year-old newcomer Ben Stokes the only player to have scored a century for the tourists after reaching 120 in England`s second innings in Perth, the report further said.
England great Ian Botham laid the blame for England`s failure squarely at the feet of their batsmen, the report mentioned.
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott was typically outspoken in his criticism, declaring that Cook`s men had `cocked it up big time`, according to the report.