Geoff Boycott says England should have dropped Andrew Strauss for the fourth Test against West Indies and asked him to regain his form with his county.
Strauss has looked desperately out of touch recently
The Middlesex opener, 30, struggled during the winter and has hit only 58 runs in three Tests this summer.
Coach Peter Moores has backed the left-hander to come good but ex-England batsman Boycott says he needs a break.
"He's just not playing well. I would have sent him back to county cricket for a while," Boycott told the BBC.
"If he gets runs in the next Test it will be a good decision but I've been in that situation when your mind's gone and you can't make a run, your feet are all over the place.
"If the West Indies bowl OK he will get out again cheaply because his feet are not going in the right spot so he will need a lot of character and a slice of luck or two early on to survive."
He's worked hard and with hard work normally comes that bit of luck
England made just one change to their 12-man squad for the fourth Test, which starts on Friday at the Riverside, recalling seamer Matthew Hoggard in place of the out-of-form Liam Plunkett.
But they kept faith with Strauss, and Moores is convinced he will be back to his best sooner rather than later.
"He's hitting the ball well in practice. I've every confidence in Andrew, he's a really good player, he's shown it in the past and we'll see it again in the future," he insisted.
"It's a case of getting some time in the middle. Before he came into this Test series he'd just got a hundred, and he's very hungry.
"He's worked hard and with hard work normally comes that bit of luck, and hopefully he gets that at Durham."
Strauss made a flying start to his Test career with five centuries in his first 11 games and he has almost 3,000 from 39 Tests at an average of 41.15.
It would have been an opportunity to push Michael Vaughan up to opening and bring in a younger player
Boycott on why Strauss should have been dropped
But that has dropped because of a dip in his form which began with a torrid time in the Ashes series in Australia and continued at the World Cup in the Caribbean.
Despite his struggles - he made 6 and 0 in the third Test at Old Trafford - England have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series against the Windies and Boycott says the time was right to make a change.
"I'm not dismissing him from Test cricket - he has too good a record," the former England opener added on BBC Radio Five Live's podcast.
"But everybody's had a period where they haven't played very well, they've lost confidence and form, and it can be very cruel in the Test arena.
"It would have been an opportunity to push Michael Vaughan up to opening, which he's quite used to, and bring in a younger player.
"Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara could do with some international cricket, so it would have been a good opportunity, especially since they've already won the series."