Former England Test star Kevin Pietersen has questioned whether former skipper Alastair Cook still has the drive and desire to compete at the highest level, following a poor star to his Ashes campaign.
Cook has scored just 62 runs in four innings so far this series, with a top score of 37.
The 32-year-old is England’s greatest ever run scorer, with just under 12,000 runs, including 31 tons and 55 half-centuries.
But Pietersen says Cook’s body language and his form suggest he may no longer be able to succeed at Test level.
“It looks like Cook is not very interested,” Pietersen told ESPNcricinfo.
“Just the way that he’s got out, the manner of his dismissals and also the way he’s walked off the field once he’s got out.
“That’s the sign of a bloke who goes, ‘You know what? Maybe my time is up’. But he’s also quite resilient, so can he turn it around?
“He’s a wonderful player and has been for England for a hell of a long time. This will be his 150th Test match, so you never know.
“He might be able to put up a performance in his 150th Test match, which gives them a lot of energy and excitement going into the WACA.
“He’s got a Test hundred at the WACA before. But who knows? That fire burns in your belly for a number of years and then eventually it starts to go out. I had spotted it before the series and there’s certainly no signs at the moment to prove there’s any fire in Cook’s belly.”
The third Test begins on Thursday at the WACA in Perth.