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

England at 'rock bottom' - Cook

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

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  • rob 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.

  • Paul 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.

  • Bob 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...

  • Xiong 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.

  • Kiran 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

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

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

  • Naresh 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.

  • Peter 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.

  • HIran 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

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