Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day January 5, 2014

England at 'rock bottom' - Cook

ESPNcricinfo staff
88

Alastair Cook admitted England had hit "rock bottom" after their Ashes whitewash but believes the team can recover from the humiliation.

England's final innings of the series ended in just 31.4 overs as Australia wrapped up a 281-run victory within three days; the other margins in this series were 381 runs, 218 runs, 150 runs and eight wickets.

"When you hit rock bottom the only way is up,'' he said at the presentation. "It happened in 2006-07 and things turned round with a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication to the cause.

"We have to look at ourselves, look at where we want to go. We have a huge amount of talent in England. We haven't shown it in these five games. There's a lot of courage in the dressing room which will need to come out now.''

"It's tough knowing you've played in five games and been beaten badly in five games. As a sportsman that's the hardest thing to take. We left everything out there but we weren't good enough. We weren't good enough to turn it round.

"We tried to change the way we played but you've got to give credit to Michael [Clarke] and his team, anything we could throw at them they responded incredibly well and they thoroughly deserve their 5-0 win.''

England's recovery after the previous whitewash in 2006-07 took time. A few months later Duncan Fletcher, the coach, quit after the World Cup to be replaced by Peter Moores although captain Michael Vaughan, who had missed the Ashes due to injury, carried on until the 2008 series against South Africa. The partnership between Moores and Kevin Pietersen only lasted four months and it was when Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower joined forces in early 2009 that improvements began to be made.

Cook wants to be the captain to try and lead the recovery and is eager to work alongside Flower, who yesterday was given the support of the ECB from chief executive David Collier.

"I want to be the man to try to turn this round. Whether I'm given the opportunity is not my decision but I want to try.

"One thing we can say we've done well is stuck together. At times like this factions can corner off in the dressing room and there can be a lot of backstabbing but I can safely say that hasn't happened.

"But the bottom line is out in the middle is where it counts. If you look back at 2006-07, it made me take a good look at my game, it made us have a real look at ourselves as an England team and a lot of good came from it. I have a feeling this will be good for us in the long term."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dunger.bob on January 6, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    The only way is up. Not necessarily. I'm sure that with a bit more application England cab sink even lower than this. It won't be easy mind you, but nothings impossible. Losing at home to SL & India would be a good start if they really are interested in seeing what the bottom of the barrel looks like.

    Cookie, you're a good man and an excellent batsman but you're not a captains wazoo.

  • __PK on January 6, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    Rock bottom? I think not. They could fall a lot further yet. ODI series upcoming in Australia and then in the Windies and at home against Sri Lanka. They lose all those and find themselves trying to redeem themselves against Sri Lanka in test cricket.

  • bobmartin on January 6, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    One one the biggest problems is Cook.. If a pro-active and innovative captain.. who makes things happen, rather than reacting to events... is not scoring runs or otherwise contributing... then it's just possible to carry that person in the team... Cook unfortunately at the moment is the antithesis of such a captain.. in that he's not scoring runs and he's not making things happen.. He is therefore a liability... and as the captain these failings are rubbing off on the other players... One way or another he has to up his game...

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on January 6, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    @sher-sher What you say makes no sense. Beaten but not disgraced, but then you list half the Australian batting line up as not test players. So what I'm hearing is "England did ok because the Aussies clearly doctored everything (ignoring that the MCG and adelaide were very much like English pitches a few months ago) and Australia is completely mediocre even though they won by lots". Can't figure it out.

  • pitch_curator on January 6, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    I think England are doing a dis-service to Cook the batsman by burdening him to take up the captains responsibility and he is clearly at a loss of words to explain the team's pathetic performance. Whats more, it seems to be affecting his batting. It will be better if the captaincy mantle is passed on to someone like Anderson/Broad and Cook focusses on his batting. On more than one occassion in this series, Cook got out playing uncharactersitic shots and it was evident that he had much on his mind. Cook the batsman is vital for England's batting as Trott is no longer there. As far as Australia is concerned, they played well but there are about 5 players who will be found out outside Australia. Cant expect Haddin to keep rescuing the team everytime. Their real test will come in sub-continent and Abu Dhabi although SAF would also prove to be a big challenge. The big plus that Aussies have for the SAF tour is that they can replicate the exact bowling line up as conditions would be similar

  • sheenu on January 6, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    You are wrong, Alistair!! It is like you are at Mariana's trench!!

  • Naresh28 on January 6, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Well done to Australia. There's always a next time England. A winning team needs at least one deadly bowler as Steyn and Johnson have done for their country. England needed two players - Bell and Trott - to fire. For Cook right at the top of the order the pressure really got to him. Also Pieterson needed to play well. INDIA can learn from this - they do not have a match WINNING BOWLER and therefore when they tour there is no hope. Play on the subcontinent then they have spinners.

  • Chris_P on January 6, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster. With all due respect, I guess anyone who supports team who is sitting at 0-9 in their last 10 away tests might have an idea about how well teams go playing away. There is not one Aussie cricket follower, who knows anything about cricket really expects a cakewalk in South Africa. Almost everyone will acknowledge we will be on the back foot, it still will not stop us from having a go, that is within our culture & this team has the makings of developing into something better than they are now. Nothing wrong with aspirations my friend, it should be encouraged.

  • Tysonlanka on January 6, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    with the current from no dough the best two teams are SA & Aussi... however both teams are good in their own conditions. It will be big challenge for the Aussi boys to do well in AS. This shows the England attack needs to be more brainy in different conditions.. I feel that Aussi totally out played the English boys from day 1 in the series and did not give any momentum to come back which is great to see from super teams. India bowling is good only in their conditions. all other sides are very average and don't show any TEST class even we got 8 test playing nations.

  • on January 6, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    If Australia has an in form Johnson in England, I think the first series could have has a different result. It was much closer than 3-0. England simply could not handle the pace. If England has Australia's bowling attack, I don't think the Australian's would have fared much better. It will be very interesting to see how Australia and South Africa match up. All I hope as a cricket fan is that it is close. The Ashes in Australia was an absolute bore.

  • dunger.bob on January 6, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    The only way is up. Not necessarily. I'm sure that with a bit more application England cab sink even lower than this. It won't be easy mind you, but nothings impossible. Losing at home to SL & India would be a good start if they really are interested in seeing what the bottom of the barrel looks like.

    Cookie, you're a good man and an excellent batsman but you're not a captains wazoo.

  • __PK on January 6, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    Rock bottom? I think not. They could fall a lot further yet. ODI series upcoming in Australia and then in the Windies and at home against Sri Lanka. They lose all those and find themselves trying to redeem themselves against Sri Lanka in test cricket.

  • bobmartin on January 6, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    One one the biggest problems is Cook.. If a pro-active and innovative captain.. who makes things happen, rather than reacting to events... is not scoring runs or otherwise contributing... then it's just possible to carry that person in the team... Cook unfortunately at the moment is the antithesis of such a captain.. in that he's not scoring runs and he's not making things happen.. He is therefore a liability... and as the captain these failings are rubbing off on the other players... One way or another he has to up his game...

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on January 6, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    @sher-sher What you say makes no sense. Beaten but not disgraced, but then you list half the Australian batting line up as not test players. So what I'm hearing is "England did ok because the Aussies clearly doctored everything (ignoring that the MCG and adelaide were very much like English pitches a few months ago) and Australia is completely mediocre even though they won by lots". Can't figure it out.

  • pitch_curator on January 6, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    I think England are doing a dis-service to Cook the batsman by burdening him to take up the captains responsibility and he is clearly at a loss of words to explain the team's pathetic performance. Whats more, it seems to be affecting his batting. It will be better if the captaincy mantle is passed on to someone like Anderson/Broad and Cook focusses on his batting. On more than one occassion in this series, Cook got out playing uncharactersitic shots and it was evident that he had much on his mind. Cook the batsman is vital for England's batting as Trott is no longer there. As far as Australia is concerned, they played well but there are about 5 players who will be found out outside Australia. Cant expect Haddin to keep rescuing the team everytime. Their real test will come in sub-continent and Abu Dhabi although SAF would also prove to be a big challenge. The big plus that Aussies have for the SAF tour is that they can replicate the exact bowling line up as conditions would be similar

  • sheenu on January 6, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    You are wrong, Alistair!! It is like you are at Mariana's trench!!

  • Naresh28 on January 6, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Well done to Australia. There's always a next time England. A winning team needs at least one deadly bowler as Steyn and Johnson have done for their country. England needed two players - Bell and Trott - to fire. For Cook right at the top of the order the pressure really got to him. Also Pieterson needed to play well. INDIA can learn from this - they do not have a match WINNING BOWLER and therefore when they tour there is no hope. Play on the subcontinent then they have spinners.

  • Chris_P on January 6, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster. With all due respect, I guess anyone who supports team who is sitting at 0-9 in their last 10 away tests might have an idea about how well teams go playing away. There is not one Aussie cricket follower, who knows anything about cricket really expects a cakewalk in South Africa. Almost everyone will acknowledge we will be on the back foot, it still will not stop us from having a go, that is within our culture & this team has the makings of developing into something better than they are now. Nothing wrong with aspirations my friend, it should be encouraged.

  • Tysonlanka on January 6, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    with the current from no dough the best two teams are SA & Aussi... however both teams are good in their own conditions. It will be big challenge for the Aussi boys to do well in AS. This shows the England attack needs to be more brainy in different conditions.. I feel that Aussi totally out played the English boys from day 1 in the series and did not give any momentum to come back which is great to see from super teams. India bowling is good only in their conditions. all other sides are very average and don't show any TEST class even we got 8 test playing nations.

  • on January 6, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    If Australia has an in form Johnson in England, I think the first series could have has a different result. It was much closer than 3-0. England simply could not handle the pace. If England has Australia's bowling attack, I don't think the Australian's would have fared much better. It will be very interesting to see how Australia and South Africa match up. All I hope as a cricket fan is that it is close. The Ashes in Australia was an absolute bore.

  • sidh78 on January 6, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    every one always pointed out ins's 4-0 loss in aus & eng.that time india was very tired(after wc&ipl) & had very aging team.so they lost in alien conditions.ind also whitewashed aus 4-0.but now look at eng, whitewashed 5-0 in almost similar conditions of there own& not alien for engl.butu heared any time that ind whitewashed in subcontinante which has similar condn. like india but india always dominated in sc and played very well beside thay two eng - aus tour

  • sheru-sher on January 6, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    England were beaten but not disgraced as nowadays home teams are overtly exacting their advantages . Cook is a super batsman second only to Clarke in that duel. Austrailia may have won but their team is much weaker that the series win suggest. The difference in the teams I would say is the batting of Hadding and the bowling of Johnson both players having been dropped , have worked hard to reclaimed their places in the side. South Africa will make mince-meat with that Aussie side as players like Smith, Rodgers, Warner, and Bailey are not Test players . Lets wait and see

  • izzidole on January 6, 2014, 2:26 GMT

    England's weakness against good fast bowling has been severely exposed and I am sure other overseas teams will be looking forward to exploit it. The way they folded up in no time soon after the tea break on the third day is ample proof of their vulnerabilty to good fast bowling. Their batsmen were all at sea and managed to score runs only against the spinner Nathan Lyon. Even England's overseas imports Pietersen, Rankine, Stokes and Ballance couldn't save them from a series whitewash and total humiliation. England has a long way to go and a formidable task ahead to be be more competitive in world cricket in the future. Atleast the next ashes series is eighteen months away on home soil.

  • on January 5, 2014, 22:38 GMT

    fell sad for England.... as a cricket lover i also appreciate Ausses effort... they were awesome... A Pakistani Cricket lover!!!

  • jayg24 on January 5, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    I love the way at the end, Cook says he has a feeling that this 5-0 whitewash will be good for the team in the long term. Cook, Bell, Pietersen and Anderson were all playing in the ashes of 2006/7 where they lost 5-0 in Australia. So, was that experience good for them in the long term? Errr.... no... since they've just lost 5-0 again..... Makes me laugh.... All talk by Captain Cook.... Nothing to back up what he says. Being present in the 2006/7 series Cook should have made sure 5-0 never happened again especially as he's captain.

  • on January 5, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    In sports everything is possible. It is important to don't loose confidence. As a captain, he should lead the way, but it did not happen. Just learn out of this, don't urinate in the middle of the pitch in joy and don't put ur head down in the lose. Just be a man, face the consequences.

  • rphanikanth on January 5, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    Rock bottom would be when England is consistently being beaten by teams like Zimbabwe, Ireland, Bangladesh. England needs to start rebuilding.

  • on January 5, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    This just so clearly conforms to my beliefs.. England has always been an average team which just gets hyped up.. They won against Aus or Ind in the past, only because they lost it. Both Aus and Ind had some all time great players on verge of retiring, and this average English team was just happened to be there at their most fortunate right time.. They probably have 2 Great Batsmen (Cook+Peterson) and couple of average bowlers who only excel in their tailor made home conditions (Anderson, Broad). Hope they are put in their rightful place now..

  • ADARSH100 on January 5, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    wen India lose outside sub continent, ppl ridicule sayng that India is a flat track bully and wen England loses?? All team has its own strength and weaknesses over time and those keep changing wn tym passes. Anyways it was an excellent performance by Aussies and congrats to them. No one expected that they will bounce bak in such a great fashion aftr their losses in India and England. Interesting to watch Aus VS SA and Ind VS Aus :)

  • Assertive-Indian on January 5, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Sad to see Cook wallow in so much of self pity... must be feeling miserable....He has the dubious distinction of being involved in two Ashes whitewashes....

  • Pyketts on January 5, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    @HatsforBats the key types of captains are good ones and bad ones, Cook is a bad one. He's taken a resonably talented team and turned them into a laughing stock (appreciate the Eng management and coaches should also take a lot of the blame).

    It's not just been the last few months, this has been in the pipeline for years. If he's not strong enough to stand up to his bolwers demands surely he can't be the man for the job?

    I suggested in a previous post who else there is Bell, KP, Broad, Prior (still the best wicketkeeper we have).

  • heathrf1974 on January 5, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    I think England need a change of captain, but to keep the core of the team. Who that is I'm not so sure but I think it should be someone outside the current group as there are no natural leaders in the side. Another problem with England is not ability but it is with their heads. They need a break and to re-focus. An alteration to management is also required. They need someone who can take the pressure off, they need to learn again about how to enjoy their cricket.

  • MaruthuDelft on January 5, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    This happened due to lack of variety; in such case it becomes all too easy for oppositions unless the similar unit operate a different plane like the West Indies pace quartet operated. All in the England bowling unit are similar and average now. Just consider the variety in 2005 England Ashes squad. Simon Jones - Orthodox Genuinely Beautiful Fast Bowler, Mathew Hoggard - Superb Swing Bowler, Andrew Flintoff - Open Chested Unorthodox Genuine Fast Bowler, Harmison - A poor bowler occasionally produced rippers due to height and Giles was poor compared to Swann. As for batting Michael Vaugn was a superb batsman. Flintoff a match changer in home conditions. Strauss a boring batsman but a prolific run maker like cook. An enthusiastic Petersen. But in this series Cook, Trott, Root, Carberry, Bell(may be pleasing on eyes but a slow scoring player) and the slow scoring version of Petersen are what they had.

  • KarachiKid on January 5, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    Whatever the result I like Cook as a player, as a captain and as a person. Very graceful. One thing is for sure, had Cook been in form, the result would have been not as bad for England. I wish Cook and his team all the best.

  • HatsforBats on January 5, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    There are two kinds of captains, the cerebral and those that lead by example, crudely, Brearly and Ponting. Some lucky few may combine both facets, and Clarke seems to be one of these. I hope they retain Cook. Whilst his tactical captaincy has largely been very poor (let down often by his quicks demanding protection for their poor deliveries), he's a very admirable man and his early odi captaincy showed a more aggressive, proactive approach. Perhaps a less restrictive managerial environ may promote a more natural approach. In any case, who else is there?

  • Iddo555 on January 5, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    Finn, Tremlett and Panesar going on this tour was pathetic, not one was in form and a quick look at this years 1st class county stats should have told them that. I don't know what these selectors are getting paid for if they think these three should have gone on tour.

    Onions is in SA when he was the leading wicket taker in county cricket and we are dragging Tremlett and Finn along for a holiday. Carberry who had done nothing in 1st class was taken on 20/20 form? Clear the rot and I don't mean just players either, there are selectors and analysts that need to go too.

  • Iddo555 on January 5, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    England need to throw out the rot, Panesar and Carberry should never have gone on this tour, neither had a good year in first class. Trott had issues which should have been addressed before the team left and he shouldn't have gone.

    I'd also suggest the other senior players need to have a long hard look at themselves and ask whether they still want to do this. Bell and Pietersen didn't turn up and looked like they didn't want to be there.

    Broad and Stokes are the only players who can really hold their heads up and say I did my part.

  • on January 5, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    England were far too complacent after the 3-0 win in england. the 5-0 here is more of a reflection in how bad England were, Australia were overall OK, not great

    To the staffers who predict doom and gloom for Australia, well you said that in 2011 and that was 1-1. you said that in 2009 after winning in Australia in 2008 and you lost 2-1. you said that in 2006 after Australia lost the 05 ashes even though we floored you at home 2-0. you said that in 97 you would beat us and be world champs, and in 93, you would be us after readmission.only in 2002 you were quiet. you saffers have never beaten Australia in South Africa, and while Steyn and Philander are the best, I wouldn't be too complacent after the Indian series. I predict a 1-1 series result

  • I_cant_believe_its_not_batter on January 5, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    While Cook, Flower and Saker have massive cases to answer, for me the real culprit in this is Gooch. The batting - as talented as the resources available are - has been getting steadily worse under Gooch, to reach the current embarrassing nadir. It's a struggle to recall the last score of 300+, never mind 400+.

    To all intents and purposes he appears to be trying to recreate the dour, negative, attritional style of cricket that he and Mickey Stewart developed to move England from a side that lost badly all the time to one that last slightly less badly all the time. That he also forced Gower out of the game at the same time is something he should still be doing time for!

    Change the coaching team and let's see some entertaining, enterprising cricket for a change.

  • popcorn on January 5, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Unless three is a complete purge, Gooch,Flower, Saker, Cook, all sacked, England will never recover.

  • on January 5, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    in terms of talent, this Australian team lags behind the Australian team of 2005 that toured UK. The England team is also way behind the team of 2005. Yet the series was exciting even if England were woefully disappointing. Well played Australia who won by a country mile.

  • disco_bob on January 5, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    "When you hit rock bottom the only way is up,'', so says Cook, but this is incorrect and I am sure that England will prove it by flailing around on the bottom for quite some time and perhaps discovering a metaphorical Mariana Trench awaiting in the form of the following ODI series.

  • brusselslion on January 5, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    @Harold-I: I agree with much of what you say, however, whether the talent is there remains to be seen. The jump from what is a fairly poor domestic competition (CC) to the Test arena is huge. Stokes seems to have managed it, but others e.g. Bairstow clearly have not. An additional problem is that we should be talking about wholesale changes (up to half the side). However, the new boys would obviously need to be 'led' by the remaining senior players - especially when things aren't going to plan - and I'm afraid that I don't see much evidence of these leadership skills in the likes of Cook, Bell, KP & Anderson.

  • Pyketts on January 5, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    @vijay_sanrafael I can only assume you're joking with your comments.

    Carburry isn't international class and at 32 he won't get there.

    Tremlett is finished (look at his county performances last year, shouldn't have even been on the tour).

    Finn is so out of form it's untrue (although I agree they should try to nuture him back to form)

    Cook being a good captain? Can only assume you've not seen much cricket over the years.

  • that_guy on January 5, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    Broad and stokes looked like the only ones with ticker and the desire to win... get rid of the rest

  • Trachiniae on January 5, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    Well played Aus. Tough to take, but we didn't deserve any better this time. I do think the sides are closer in talent than the result suggests, and several of the Aus players have graciously suggested as much in their interview comments. As for knee-jerk 'drop Cook, Bell, Broad, KP, Prior, Anderson' - absurd - particularly since Broad was arguably the only player, alongside Stokes, to perform at all really. One or two of them certainly need to prove themselves in the coming year, but I earnestly believe this series was a freak result from an England side who, tired and complacent from too much cricket and media hype, didn't know how to respond when the most ruthless sporting nation in the world got inside their heads. Thanks to Johnson, Haddin, Harris for providing magnificent, if humiliating entertainment - but with better preparation (head and body) I think this squad (mostly) can come back to produce a team capable of winning. I do agree Cook looks ill-equipped for captaincy though.

  • Sheenbob on January 5, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @milepost I highly doubt that the Aussies can sweep the South Africans in South Africa. They lost at home last year and as I recall they didn't have a very happy time of things last time they were there, threatening the lowest ever test score at one stage. The English got blown away mentally throughout this series, the South Africans are a very determined and stubborn bunch and will not back down. This Australian team had a great series, yet their team still looks vulnerable (especially top order).

  • SoorajPA on January 5, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    Strange fact!!! SInce cook became Captain number of Left Hand Batsmen increased so much so that in the last test there were EIGHT of them!!!

  • Pyketts on January 5, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    @Alexk400 nice but not very good idea. Who is the young talent to bring in? You can't just drop your most talented players and replace them with inexperienced youngsters.

    Stokes did ok but that's not to say a whole team of youngsters would work.

    I agree there is a need for charge but it needs to be measured. It needs to start with a new captain, a bowler with real pace and a new opener.

  • SL_rockz on January 5, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    @ milepost

    I think SA is still way stronger than Aussies.If we consider the fact that Aussies have won 5-0 to Eng and have a strong mental setup then SA have never lost a single series home and away since 2 or 3 years...And their only loss came after SL beat them in durban 2 years ago in dubai against pak.It took almost 15 matches to defeat them..So SA can take a huge moral from that.And donot forget Aussies were 4-0 whitewashed in india and defeated by SA in their own backyard..So those thing will definitely favor SA.. Apart from that there is no ABD or Faf in aussies batting. Amla is bit out form but a batsman like him will never stay out of form for long and he still ranked in top five which guaranteed about the form that he was in..About steyn ..No one on earth can replace him.He is a unique fast bowler.He is still bowling in 145+.But it is not about the speed when it comes to taking wickets.It is line and length as well as your experience and skill.

  • indianpunter on January 5, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    England need a fresh start. That means that they retain the core ( Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Stokes, maybe Anderson and Root) and plan for the future. A new beginning means that Flower and Gooch have to be cut loose. He has been good to english cricket, but nothing lasts forever. I am not sure though, that Ash Giles is the man for the job. Gower as batting coach is my 2 cents.

  • DaisonGarvasis on January 5, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    Really wonder how losing a series 5-0 can be good for the team in long run (or any run). If anything they will have fire a few seniors - such as Prior, Cook, Anderson - and look at re-building the team. If any of the guys getting dropped can regain their form they can come back in future. With an average of 24 in 10 innings cook should go (his captaincy has been criticized by everybody). 14 wickets in 5 matches should show Anderson the door. Prior should be dropped just for showing up in the series. These three were incapable of doing any more that what they did in the series. The short periods KP was in the crease, he was not dominated and he discovered ways to get out. KP can still perform if he focus a bit. Cook's eyes were a give away as he had conceded a 5-0 right after the first test!!!! Time to go.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 5, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Australians will be tested severely away from home. Contrary to what many Aussies will say here, I firmly believe they are an ordinary team. SA will expose them shortly. They still cannot play in Indian conditions and could struggle against Pakistan in the UAE later this year. No team is superior unless they beat every opponent in world cricket both at home and away at least once. So it's better if Aussies celebrate this win whole heartedly cause a tough time awaits them in the future.

  • ashes_galore on January 5, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    I personally think Cook is the man to lead the team. As for Australia, everyone was saying that they were the best team in the world after they thrashed India 4-0 at home. Well they then went on to lose 0-4 to India away. So to me 5-0 on England is not a surprise. How well these lot perform against SA and PAK away in anyone's guess.

  • ruester on January 5, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    This debacle is very similar to where the Australian team was at in England. What happened, there was a new coach in place and the Aussies have turned it around with the very same players except Johnson, who has been magnificent all series. Maybe ECB can learn from this? Flower has had his day and new ideas and atmosphere is needed. thanks Andy but somone needs to take some responsibility here.....I'm afraid you are the fall guy in my opinion.

  • on January 5, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    @milepost - I love how every team thinks they are the best in the world after winning a series. England thought the same after the one the northern Ashes, Anderson was now "better than Steyn" etc. Aus vs SA is going to be a great contest but please don't get ahead of yourselves Australia. Philander's "medium pace" bowled out Australia for 45 runs the last time you were here. He is the no.1 bowler in the world for a reason, his average is 17! and he has proved himself against all the top teams. You don't need pace when you can seam the ball perfectly on a perfect length 5 balls an over. SA showed that they are happy to draw, the also showed that they are VERY HARD to beat. The did it against Aus when they were last over there. The Australian batting is still very vulnerable and has not been tested in this latest series. It will be interesting to see what happens with Kallis gone but hey, we still have top 2 best bowlers and the 2 best batsmen in the world....bring it Aus, bring it...

  • on January 5, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    It's the first tine under cook england have lost a ashes though they were outplayed by aussies I still believe they will be regrouped and ready for next challenge.

  • Lion83 on January 5, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    It will be tough challenge for England against Sri Lnaka and India in the summer with this kind of poor performances in Australia

  • Gowers_Great_Tiger_Moth_Flyby on January 5, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    It's like Cook's sweeping this disgraceful performance - arguably the worst in 50 yrs - under the carpet. Accepting his captaincy style is fundamentally flawed, the guy should be presenting his resignation on a platter along with Flower. The way forward is to play hard aggressive cricket, which the set up seems incapable of. England are going nowhere fast with these two at the helm.

  • Pyketts on January 5, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    First of all Aus played very, very well and fully deserved the margain of victory in this series (and that hurts as an Eng fan!). Eng are at rock bottom, one of the significant reasons is the captaincy of the Yes Man that is Cook. His captaincy is like his batting, one paced, attritional and no Plan B.

    This is not an Eng team that lacks talent, it lacks direction, a team spirit and more than one plan of attack.

    The sooner Cook is releived of his duties the better. I suspect this won't happen as the ECB don't want someone who will rock their cosy little money making machine.

    Alternatives if they were brave enough (in order of preference): Bell, KP, Broad, Prior (yes I'd bring him back in).

  • on January 5, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    Its a trait of English and to some extent South African sport...getting to the top is the aim but its not sustained. Sympathy for Cook,a young man who has undergone one of the most harrowing experiences in sport.Nobody could have predicted the final result. Everyone will need a "time out" and a rethink of things.Cool heads will be needed and egos discarded.Many questions need answering.Right now is not the time for solutions..these guys are human beings and professionals and stating the obvious wont help anyone.

  • Harold-I on January 5, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    I have no issues with English talent - it's there and it's good. I also don't have much issue with Flower, who's job is to prepare the players. There are 3 issues, and 2 can be addressed. The one that can't is the workload. It's simply too much, but it will not be changed, because the ECB is driven to earn the most it can. The 2 issues that can be fixed are team leadership and the selectors. Cook is not a good captain, period. He's a great player, he is committed and he should be on the team as long as he can hold a bat. But he is a poor captain on the field. Either get the best cricket mind to be his vice (and let him make onfield decisions) or replace him. Broad, Bell, even Anderson - all shown they understand the game. Get them to make onfield decisions so the Boxing Day test doesn't repeat. And then sack the selectors and get people who can really do the job.

  • Alexk400 on January 5, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    Anderson , broad , ian bell , prior , pieterson and cook fail to deliver. Period. They should be removed and replaced with young blood.

  • kiwicricketnut on January 5, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    @ Mervo that would be a great policy, does that mean we could have stokes back, he looks really good, born a kiwi though so you wont want him. england would be mad to take that approch, they would lose most of their best talent, if they did that it wouldn't just be aussie you'd have to deal with, the rest of the cricketing world would would be all over ya.

  • on January 5, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    England can only improve from .As for Australia they will find playing away from home be a big ask.

  • milepost on January 5, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    @dunger.bob, I agree, can't stand the 'what if's' either. With the exception though if Root was caught at Lords on 8 he wouldn't have even been in Australia! On the SA tour, I fully expect Australia to whitewash them. Yep, I've said it. I saw a lot of the series against India (it's much closer to my time zone) and on form Australia look a much better team. SA also showed they are happy to draw (the first test was a shambles) and that mentality will cost them against Australia. Kallis is gone, Amla is a bit out of form as is Duminy. Philander won't trouble the Aussies with his medium pace, Steyn is back to 135-140kph, they don't have a spinner and the Aussies are on a high after a 5-0 series thrashing of England. Also, the conditions are very similar to Australia.

  • on January 5, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    This has to be the heaviest and worst series defeat in the history of world cricket. Put this with the fact that England were 13 games unbeaten and Australia hadn't won a game for a long time makes it even worse - a truly unprecedented failure of the highest level imaginable. When Australia lost the northern summer ashes they made sure by the end they knew their best team and each team member knew their role so they not only competed during that series but they used the defeat to learn about themselves ready for the return series. England have now gone 26 innings without reaching 400 yet we still don't know our best side nor the best batting order - the management structure has to take responsibility for this as they do for the poor tour selection - something needs to change because although players don't become bad overnight they can lose their motivation and desire .....26 innings isn't overnight either and the scores are getting lower! Broad and Stokes the only plusses.

  • QTS_ on January 5, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    At times like this, a team needs to win to believe that it can get better. Fortunately, there is not much cricket scheduled until the summer, and that too against Sri Lanka who presumably will not be much of a threat in English conditions. More than anything, the batting needs to be sorted out. Prior possibly deserves another chance, but Carberry needs to be replaced. Root needs to find a proper position in the order, whether it be opening or fifth down, but not at three. Cook, Bell and KP need to put up some big scores, even if it against weak bowling. If Trott does not return, Ballance can be tried. Any idea who can replace Swann?

  • Jeeves_ on January 5, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Australia were in form and a powerful force. All credit to Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann. Cook was as lame as you can get. This was an unacceptable performance for a captain. I will eat my cap if Cook ever captains England again!

  • TenDonebyaShooter on January 5, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    @ RogerC: I think you mean 2005, not 2004

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Eng has 7 test at home - 2 against Sri lanka & 5 again India. Both teams are not the best in english condition, so Eng definitely has a chance to bounce back. Good thing is that they have got ben stokes, a perfect all rounder. Swann is gone but trott can come back, swann wont be missed against india & sri lanka as both are better in dealing spin as compare to the rest of the world. Another problem for Eng is ageing anderson and they need to work on other bowlers like tremlett & finn, otherwise there will be further decline.

  • milepost on January 5, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    @Brownly, the Barmy Army dwindled massively over the tour, selling off their tickets through their Facebook page. They showed as much nerve for a challenge as the team did. With Cook failing so consistently with the bat now surely his place must come under scrutiny?

  • milepost on January 5, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Good for them in the long term? Not for the players whose careers are finished as of right now.

  • Mervo on January 5, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    Cook is a decent bloke and honest in his assessment. His pride in his country is palpable. Some of those who play for the "Colonial Team" who have been born and developed in other countries, seemingly feel less strongly. England should in their rebuilding phase look to Players developed in England and who are truly passionate about their country of birth.

  • BradmanBestEver on January 5, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Surprised and disappointed at Cook's lack of graciousness demonstrated in his speech at the end of the game.

    He did not say nearly enough about how well Australia played. Just shows the deep problems that exist in this decayed English cricket unit.

  • din7 on January 5, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    cook is absolutely right here, the only way for england from here is up! all those sayin eng will lose more said the same abt aus after they lost 7 tests but the result is for evrybody to see! the nxt 2 series starts in june with sri and india are both in eng..eng have too good players not to bounce back be it cook, kp, anderson, broad, bell also good youngsters..so beware sri and india..this might really pump up eng side..it may be complete whitewash for sri and india as every team is doin it at home..had eng lost this series more respectably india would have had some chance but after 5-0 i dot see much chance for them! Eagerly witin for aus vs sa series, it will be a close one but i gues SA will win it because of better batting line up..for aus plz drop bailey or further embarrasment is on the cards for him and it doesnt make sense playin with 10 players!

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on January 5, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Its easy to kick the English team right now ... but in all fairness they could have spared us all the hype. To anyone who did not share their self-love .... the labels of the greatest batsman, fast bowler, spinner, team - all were not justifiable. The England Ashes were not at all what the 3-0 scoreline suggests. And whatever the circumstances, just taking the coward's option instead of fighting it out on the pitch .... really this team was just like most England teams through the ages! Want my Mama!

  • IndianEagle on January 5, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    cook is out of form for almost a year. Countdown starts.

  • MianMoosa on January 5, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    despite the statement given by Alastair Cook i still believe england will not be able to recover from this humiliation as soon as they are expecting, i am afraid that another horrible decade like 1990,s is waiting for England, the difference b/w this white wash compare to 2006-07 is that in that series England had shown at least some fight, the likes of KP, Cook, Collingwood, Bell, Strauss, Anderson were at their early stages in their careers & that series help them a lot, & also that Australian side was far more superior that this one, The tragedy with this series that the likes of bell, KP, anderson , trott ( mentally destroyed) & swann (already retired) are towards their last stage of their careers, So better luck to england

  • Fury on January 5, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    Funny old world. This is all the same guff that was being thrown at Australia just a few months ago. 90% of Test match cricket is in the mind and a punishing schedule has left England running on empty. Only the new guys seems to want to be there at all. Lehmann has shown how you can inject passion and pride in playing for your country into a team of fairly ordinary cricketers, bar Clarke, and transform that team into a hungry wolf pack. Flower and his technicians need to go. The players need to decide whether or not playing for England actually means anything to them and an ex-warrior like Botham needs to come in and restore the hunger. Australia can enjoy their day in the sun but a world of pain and no gain awaits them in SA - watch.

  • Wefinishthis on January 5, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    mahe2283 - I'm an Aussie, but am under no illusion that Steyn and Philander are the no.1 and no.2 bowlers in the world with Harris at no.3. Australia has a better spinner, but that's not saying much. Lyon is still not a matchwinner, Johnson finally found some consistency, but needs to back that up for another difficult series. Let's wait until Steyn and Philander have had a crack at our still fairly weak batting lineup. Watson and Bailey are obviously ODI specialists and not test quality whilst Warner, Clarke and Smith are not exactly in the best form of their careers. Haddin was our only consistent batsman but he benefited from some poor bowling. Rogers found some form in the end, but the entire top 6 are going to have to step up if they want to score runs away against the two best bowlers in the world who will no doubt end up amongst the greatest ever.

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    Mr. Boycott why dont you improve your own team rather than saying India should have lost 2-0 against South Africa. We drew a match atleast against the world No. 1 that too with such a young team. Your best England team could not even draw a single match, leave that even survive for 5 days in a test..Way to go Mr. Boycott!!

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    5-0 is a phenomenal annihilation! The Oz deserve every bit of it! Underneath the Southern Cross we stand!

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    While there's an argument to made for giving the captaincy to someone else and letting Cook concentrate on batting, I have no doubt that he'll bounce back from this. He just needs to get away from the madness of back-to-back Ashes - and from the relentless quality of Australia's bowlers. He is a wonderfully classy individual, as Chris_P says, and deserves the opportunity to mould a new team.

    Re: dsig3, well he's the first captain in five years not to have the luxury of Graeme Swann bowling well! England captains have always been able to throw it to Swann, whether in the 10th over or the 100th and know that he'll be able to do something decent with it. He just doesn't know what to do with his other spinners - not least because when he DOES throw the ball to them he gets full tosses and long hops (even from Monty!). (Having said that, I think Borthwick and Kerrigan are both good talents who deserve a chance next summer, and Cook will hopefully learn how to use them.)

  • on January 5, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    dont worry england u cqn beat this Aus team 5-0 next time. these days most of the teams are home track bulleys. in my pov any team doing well away as well as home is the better team. is there any team in that catogory.-No.srilankan fan

  • gsingh7 on January 5, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    dont think so its rock bottom yet.i guess as gooch says that England will fall to further lows after this series.now they have to do very well and win few series even to catch up India who are clear second best in test rankings. botham was spot on when he predicted 5-0 whitewash.

  • RogerC on January 5, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    Am very happy that there will be no Ashes for another 3 years. It is the most hyped sports series in the word with pathetic values to the paying spectator. In the last 25 odd years, there was hardly any competitive Ashes series except probably the 2004 series.

  • pull_shot on January 5, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    Now SA is d only team that has done well away from home, which means they deserve NO 1, but its fair to say there r positives for england in stokes,broad which they can build on

  • Brownly on January 5, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    @Arun Mathew Philip - I think that's an unfair shot at the English supporters.

    I'm an Aussie supporter, and I have to say that the best piece of fight shown by England on this trip (other than in some of Stokes' performances) was by their fans at the ground. Gee it'd be tough to watch your team go through this tour, but the Barmy Army is - for that very reason - the best group of fans in the world for standing by their team at the very worst of times. Barmy.

  • dunger.bob on January 5, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    He's a very decent bloke is Alistair Cook. I admire him as a player and as a bloke. Top class in both respects. He's always honest, doesn't try to make excuses and takes it on the chin. He also paid tribute to our blokes which was big of him..

    I found it interesting that he reckons England tried to change their tactics to ask us a few questions. I couldn't actually see that. It looked as though they stuck to the same old game plan all the way though but he say's they tried to adapt. I knew our guys bowled well but perhaps he's right. Maybe our bowlers modified their own tactics to go with the Poms. .. If so, I reckon Glenn McGrath is right. .. This WAS one one the best Aussie bowling performances of all time.

  • Nutcutlet on January 5, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    Full marks to Cook for offering 'to be the man... around.' I wish I had the faith he has in himself. There are many reasons for Eng's total humiliation over these five Tests & everyone will have an opinion - and in all probability many valid points of view will be offered from all points of the compass. To be fair to Cook, the double burden of opening the batting & captaining an increasingly dispirited side has meant that his energies have been irreconcilably split. His deficiencies in the one are magnified by the other. And if we think carefully about what sort of cricketer AC is, a likely answer begins to emerge. As a batsman he isn't the most fluent or amply gifted. Even after this recent battering, he has a hugely impressive record as an opener, built on massive application & extraordinary concentration & - note this - which has always taken EVERY IOTA of his makeup. What then is left for captaincy? Not enough to suggest he should continue as capt, IMO. It's not being fair to him.

  • batman_gothamcity on January 5, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Candid comments by Cook . He is a fantastic batsman and captain and led the team well to good victories . England for starters need to sort out their bowlers . Finn should be in the playing 11 if he is fit also Tremlett is good . Carberry as a opener looks decent if he can be persisted with . Good luck to Cook and England.

  • on January 5, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    what can i say I'm embarrass just like millions of England fans.

  • Chris_P on January 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Cook is, if nothing else, one classy individual & a great example for any youngster. His batting has been flay lately, but he has an incredible will & application & a hunger to improve is a credit to both himself & the game. He'll be around for a while yet.

  • dsig3 on January 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Cooks handling of the spinners has been disgracefull. Without a reliable spin bowler England won't be able to be the force they were. Borthwick is a temporary selection but what young spinner would want to play for Cook?

  • mahe2283 on January 5, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    Australia deserved it , currently d best bowling unit in the world

  • on January 5, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Cant understand what good has come off.... England after huge expectations have lost 5-0 that too not an invincible team(like the aus had in 2006/07). Trott has gone due to mental illness. Swann has retired.. Cook, Peterson, Bell and Anderson have been so poor in this series..... Squad selection, team selection and players handling has been completely rubbish.. England need 11 players who are prepoared mentally to take on the opponent.. The only postive that has come out of this ashes is Ben Stokes everything has been a nightmare...

  • on January 5, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    the self proclaimed great england fans and commenators finally got what they deserve,, england played so poorly that i doubt theyworst is still to come,, england team has players who are mentally so weak, depressed characters who cant handle defeat,, better give some life skills coaching to them before making them play, trot and swann joins the list of players like trescothick, harmison, yardy who all are not suitable to handle pressure of international cricket.. boycott instead of criticising others should first look into their own team problems and find a way to reslove it.

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  • on January 5, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    the self proclaimed great england fans and commenators finally got what they deserve,, england played so poorly that i doubt theyworst is still to come,, england team has players who are mentally so weak, depressed characters who cant handle defeat,, better give some life skills coaching to them before making them play, trot and swann joins the list of players like trescothick, harmison, yardy who all are not suitable to handle pressure of international cricket.. boycott instead of criticising others should first look into their own team problems and find a way to reslove it.

  • on January 5, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Cant understand what good has come off.... England after huge expectations have lost 5-0 that too not an invincible team(like the aus had in 2006/07). Trott has gone due to mental illness. Swann has retired.. Cook, Peterson, Bell and Anderson have been so poor in this series..... Squad selection, team selection and players handling has been completely rubbish.. England need 11 players who are prepoared mentally to take on the opponent.. The only postive that has come out of this ashes is Ben Stokes everything has been a nightmare...

  • mahe2283 on January 5, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    Australia deserved it , currently d best bowling unit in the world

  • dsig3 on January 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Cooks handling of the spinners has been disgracefull. Without a reliable spin bowler England won't be able to be the force they were. Borthwick is a temporary selection but what young spinner would want to play for Cook?

  • Chris_P on January 5, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Cook is, if nothing else, one classy individual & a great example for any youngster. His batting has been flay lately, but he has an incredible will & application & a hunger to improve is a credit to both himself & the game. He'll be around for a while yet.

  • on January 5, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    what can i say I'm embarrass just like millions of England fans.

  • batman_gothamcity on January 5, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Candid comments by Cook . He is a fantastic batsman and captain and led the team well to good victories . England for starters need to sort out their bowlers . Finn should be in the playing 11 if he is fit also Tremlett is good . Carberry as a opener looks decent if he can be persisted with . Good luck to Cook and England.

  • Nutcutlet on January 5, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    Full marks to Cook for offering 'to be the man... around.' I wish I had the faith he has in himself. There are many reasons for Eng's total humiliation over these five Tests & everyone will have an opinion - and in all probability many valid points of view will be offered from all points of the compass. To be fair to Cook, the double burden of opening the batting & captaining an increasingly dispirited side has meant that his energies have been irreconcilably split. His deficiencies in the one are magnified by the other. And if we think carefully about what sort of cricketer AC is, a likely answer begins to emerge. As a batsman he isn't the most fluent or amply gifted. Even after this recent battering, he has a hugely impressive record as an opener, built on massive application & extraordinary concentration & - note this - which has always taken EVERY IOTA of his makeup. What then is left for captaincy? Not enough to suggest he should continue as capt, IMO. It's not being fair to him.

  • dunger.bob on January 5, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    He's a very decent bloke is Alistair Cook. I admire him as a player and as a bloke. Top class in both respects. He's always honest, doesn't try to make excuses and takes it on the chin. He also paid tribute to our blokes which was big of him..

    I found it interesting that he reckons England tried to change their tactics to ask us a few questions. I couldn't actually see that. It looked as though they stuck to the same old game plan all the way though but he say's they tried to adapt. I knew our guys bowled well but perhaps he's right. Maybe our bowlers modified their own tactics to go with the Poms. .. If so, I reckon Glenn McGrath is right. .. This WAS one one the best Aussie bowling performances of all time.

  • Brownly on January 5, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    @Arun Mathew Philip - I think that's an unfair shot at the English supporters.

    I'm an Aussie supporter, and I have to say that the best piece of fight shown by England on this trip (other than in some of Stokes' performances) was by their fans at the ground. Gee it'd be tough to watch your team go through this tour, but the Barmy Army is - for that very reason - the best group of fans in the world for standing by their team at the very worst of times. Barmy.