Graeme Smith: 'England have looked stale under Alastair Cook'

South Africa's captain Graeme Smith walks off after been dissmised for 9 runs during the second test match between South Africa and Australia at St George's Park, in Port Elizabeth on February 20, 2014
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Graeme Smith believes that Alastair Cook faces a challenge to lead a "stale" England side to success.

Graeme Smith has claimed that England have looked "stale" recently under captain Alastair Cook.

South Africa's former skipper believes that Cook faces a difficult challenge to lead the team to success following the 5-0 Ashes defeat to Australia in the winter, but believes that his performances with the bat could be key.

"He needs to answer some important questions [such as] do the players trust him?" Smith told reporters.

"It's going to take a lot of energy. Captaining and opening is taxing. He is going to have to focus on performing.

"England to me look a little stale. They look like they need new energy, they look like they need a direction, someone to galvanise them."

Smith captained South Africa for over 10 years before retiring in February.

Former Australia cricketer Ian Chappell looks on before an Ashes Test on July 09, 2009.
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