England in Australia 2013-14 January 11, 2014

Cook silent on Pietersen future

ESPNcricinfo staff
  shares 37

Alastair Cook, England's Test and one-day captain, refused to comment on Kevin Pietersen's international future during a cagey press conference ahead of the first ODI in Melbourne. Asked about the reported breakdown of relations between Pietersen and the England team director, Andy Flower, Cook attempted to dead-bat the issue.

"It's very hard for me to talk to you the media about this. It's very hard," he said. "I can't do that. Confidentiality and stuff like that - what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. I refuse to do that."

Cook, speaking for the first time since the latest stories emerged, appeared uncomfortable with the line of questioning, as the difficulties of a 5-0 Ashes whitewash threatened to bleed into subsequent engagements. Asked whether his silence could be construed as a failure to endorse Pietersen, he replied: "You can regard it as you want."

Speaking to the BBC, Cook said there could be no guarantees about Pietersen's future involvement. "If I gave one player reassurance there could be 10 players who want that... it's unfair for us to do that," he said.

Cook has had less than a week to digest England's disastrous Test campaign and, even as attentions begin to shift towards one-day cricket and a year of planning and preparation for the World Cup, he has understandably continued to sift through the Ashes. He met with Paul Downton, the new managing director of England cricket, in Melbourne this week and has been told that he will remain in charge to lead the rebuilding of the Test side.

"Obviously when you lose a series 5-0 a lot of things get thrown up and thrown in your face as a captain," he said. "You start looking at everything and it is important that we do that. What is also important is that it has only been a week since everything happened.

"I would be wrong if I wasn't lying in my bed over the last week or so thinking about stuff I would like to do and how I would like to lead this side forward and the decisions which go with that.

"It's nice knowing you have the opportunity to make amends and I'm desperate to do it. The challenge is whether I'm good enough and we'll see over the next few years, or however long."

The five-match ODI series against Australia will provide an important opportunity for reconnaissance ahead of the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, as well as allowing several players to audition for the Test side. If England do decide to discard Pietersen - whose return to the side after a turbulent 2012 was one of Cook's first acts as Test captain - then the likes of Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan have plenty to gain over the coming weeks.

"What is important for me is the one-day series at this precise moment in time," he said. "My total focus has to be on us winning games of cricket in this series. We have a World Cup in 2015 in exactly the same conditions as we are going to experience here and that has to be given my full thought. After this series then you go back on to how do we rebuild the Test side."

Cook is one 10 players who remain from the original Ashes squad and he acknowledged it will be a challenge for them to move on from the difficulties of the last two months but he hopes the new players can sense their opportunity.

"We have spoken about it, the guys who played the Tests, about how we want to go about things," Cook said. "When you haven't been scoring runs your confidence will take a hit but it's amazing how quickly it can turn around. One-day cricket can free people up and allow you to express yourself away from the pressures of Test cricket. It will be tough for those lads, but they know if they come through it will bode well.

"The young players know they have a World Cup in a year's time and after seeing what happened to the Test team they'll be thinking there are a lot of places up for grabs."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 14, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    IPL??? what in heaven's name has IPL got to do with anything?

    9 out of the 12 Australians in the Ashes were born in beach side cities whereas only 4 of the englishmen were so therefore England should pick more people born on the ocean.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | January 13, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    The 'laughing it off' photo of Alistair Cook looks more grin-and-bear-it to me. There is no humour in those eyes. This is the photo of a man who's deeply worried - and with several good reasons. As I have said before, he does not take captaincy in his stride and there is no evidence to suggest that he has an intuitive feel for the role. Sorry, captaincy doesn't come out of a coaching manual - you've either got it, or you haven't. All that's been achieved by Cook's captaincy is a complete loss of his batting form. There has been no compensating inspiration, IMO.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Andy Flower has shown to the world how he has failed to succeed when in a high position by capitulating in Australia. Now his weaknesses are coming out of the cupboard, like handling of Peterson. True the coach is above the players but not just because of his hierarchy. He must be above the players through example and by being the shining light. But sadly his abilities when in a difficult position has come out thick and fast. If he is to drop Peterson, then he has to drop all batsmen including the captain because they all failed. Then why did all of them fail, and and midstream why did Trott leave and even Swan. This has never happened in cricket possibly in the last thirty to forty years. So them problem is not with players but with coach. And no coach worth anything if he cannot motivate his team. match after match the batters as well as bowlers failed miserably. Aussies won not because they were great but that English were looking miserable. Who should be blamed. ECB or the Coach

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 12, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    KP is not the problem, England need him to drag themselves out of a huge hole of their own making. Even though KP humiliated them with his text messages to SA during the series and had his place questioned, England knew that they needed a player of his calibre in India, and they need that same pragmatic approach now. England are a shambles and have been an accident waiting to happen for some time. Making KP the vice captain is a brilliant idea and if England don't wake up now it will be too late to ask KP to rescue them again. Like MJ, Bell is a confidence player and he'll probably become worse before things get better.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 12, 2014, 23:25 GMT

    Cook has that Saddam Hussein 'they are drowning in rivers of blood and everything is going to plan' smile, that doesn't quite convince that everything is going to plan.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 12, 2014, 23:16 GMT

    Cook should and could've been a lot more supportive than he was. Would he have really said the same if he had been asked about Stuart Broad or Stokes? Bell may not be a natural leader, but he's hardly a less appropriate option than the current incumbent. Cook's interviews are utterly insipid.

  • POSTED BY shivbalaji on | January 12, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    I agree its selector decision to select a particular player for the series, but in KP case he is the only person who had been able to play confidently in the white wash ashes series. If England CB is really concerned about the Team performance, I think they would definitely rate everyone who is on the squad. As Captain of the Team, Cook should be assessed first; he was the biggest failure player in this series. If ECB, assess each player then it would become disaster for the team. Simple suggestion, develop positive mindset in the dressing room and play as usual. That's enough for England team. One simple victory at Australian soil is enough for Team to come up. All the best EC Team.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 12, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    firsts things first, peitersen needs to stay. If I was to fix up the mess of English cricket what I would do is 1. get new selectors in (I thought the squad they picked for Australia had a lot of pointless players in it and wasn't their best squad); 2. get a new captain...I don't think cook shows enough faith with his younger players...I would have Stuart broad as captain; and 3. get a new coach...they need a coach which supports their players and makes the game of cricket fun just like lehmann has done with the current Aussie side.

  • POSTED BY natarsx on | January 12, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    Okie - one team is out of World cup now!! Without KP England cannot win world cup. It would take some time for him to build his form and England is helping others by dropping him. KP might react by retiring from ODIs..

    For the other gentlemen here who point to IPL as the reason for England's Ashes losses - yes, brilliant and you are all right - its because of IPL England lost the ashes as no one other than KP really plays IPL, whereas Clarke, Warner, Watto, Bailey, Finch, Faulkner, Maxwell, Smith and of course Jhonson and Lehman all played IPL. Wake up English cricket...

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | January 12, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Ok.. Mr. Flower, has a lot of respect form me but NOW...

    it is very poor form to blame your best performing batsman on a horrible tour, and not blame yourself or the other 11 players ....

    This is showing that the reason why England players were allowed to bully and make fun of KP in the camp was because the management allowed it !

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 14, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    IPL??? what in heaven's name has IPL got to do with anything?

    9 out of the 12 Australians in the Ashes were born in beach side cities whereas only 4 of the englishmen were so therefore England should pick more people born on the ocean.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | January 13, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    The 'laughing it off' photo of Alistair Cook looks more grin-and-bear-it to me. There is no humour in those eyes. This is the photo of a man who's deeply worried - and with several good reasons. As I have said before, he does not take captaincy in his stride and there is no evidence to suggest that he has an intuitive feel for the role. Sorry, captaincy doesn't come out of a coaching manual - you've either got it, or you haven't. All that's been achieved by Cook's captaincy is a complete loss of his batting form. There has been no compensating inspiration, IMO.

  • POSTED BY on | January 13, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Andy Flower has shown to the world how he has failed to succeed when in a high position by capitulating in Australia. Now his weaknesses are coming out of the cupboard, like handling of Peterson. True the coach is above the players but not just because of his hierarchy. He must be above the players through example and by being the shining light. But sadly his abilities when in a difficult position has come out thick and fast. If he is to drop Peterson, then he has to drop all batsmen including the captain because they all failed. Then why did all of them fail, and and midstream why did Trott leave and even Swan. This has never happened in cricket possibly in the last thirty to forty years. So them problem is not with players but with coach. And no coach worth anything if he cannot motivate his team. match after match the batters as well as bowlers failed miserably. Aussies won not because they were great but that English were looking miserable. Who should be blamed. ECB or the Coach

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 12, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    KP is not the problem, England need him to drag themselves out of a huge hole of their own making. Even though KP humiliated them with his text messages to SA during the series and had his place questioned, England knew that they needed a player of his calibre in India, and they need that same pragmatic approach now. England are a shambles and have been an accident waiting to happen for some time. Making KP the vice captain is a brilliant idea and if England don't wake up now it will be too late to ask KP to rescue them again. Like MJ, Bell is a confidence player and he'll probably become worse before things get better.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 12, 2014, 23:25 GMT

    Cook has that Saddam Hussein 'they are drowning in rivers of blood and everything is going to plan' smile, that doesn't quite convince that everything is going to plan.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 12, 2014, 23:16 GMT

    Cook should and could've been a lot more supportive than he was. Would he have really said the same if he had been asked about Stuart Broad or Stokes? Bell may not be a natural leader, but he's hardly a less appropriate option than the current incumbent. Cook's interviews are utterly insipid.

  • POSTED BY shivbalaji on | January 12, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    I agree its selector decision to select a particular player for the series, but in KP case he is the only person who had been able to play confidently in the white wash ashes series. If England CB is really concerned about the Team performance, I think they would definitely rate everyone who is on the squad. As Captain of the Team, Cook should be assessed first; he was the biggest failure player in this series. If ECB, assess each player then it would become disaster for the team. Simple suggestion, develop positive mindset in the dressing room and play as usual. That's enough for England team. One simple victory at Australian soil is enough for Team to come up. All the best EC Team.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 12, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    firsts things first, peitersen needs to stay. If I was to fix up the mess of English cricket what I would do is 1. get new selectors in (I thought the squad they picked for Australia had a lot of pointless players in it and wasn't their best squad); 2. get a new captain...I don't think cook shows enough faith with his younger players...I would have Stuart broad as captain; and 3. get a new coach...they need a coach which supports their players and makes the game of cricket fun just like lehmann has done with the current Aussie side.

  • POSTED BY natarsx on | January 12, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    Okie - one team is out of World cup now!! Without KP England cannot win world cup. It would take some time for him to build his form and England is helping others by dropping him. KP might react by retiring from ODIs..

    For the other gentlemen here who point to IPL as the reason for England's Ashes losses - yes, brilliant and you are all right - its because of IPL England lost the ashes as no one other than KP really plays IPL, whereas Clarke, Warner, Watto, Bailey, Finch, Faulkner, Maxwell, Smith and of course Jhonson and Lehman all played IPL. Wake up English cricket...

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | January 12, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Ok.. Mr. Flower, has a lot of respect form me but NOW...

    it is very poor form to blame your best performing batsman on a horrible tour, and not blame yourself or the other 11 players ....

    This is showing that the reason why England players were allowed to bully and make fun of KP in the camp was because the management allowed it !

  • POSTED BY dynamco on | January 12, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    Cook needs to go Lost his mojo Never gets forward to negate swing No bad balls means he is frustrated Poor technique Just failed again in the one dayer Get Richard Levy in there Poor captain Look how Oz had Carberry caught twice playing good shots - Clarke had right people in attacking positions Batting coach needs to go-being a past good player does not ake a good coach Pietersen should be told there is only once place in the team for him, not two, the other one for his ego has to go Coaches are what the team drive to the ground in Selectors - you are fired The Barmy Army could have carried drinks instead of Finn The team cannot play successfully without its 12th player, Team Spirit Tell Broad to attack the oppoistion with his negative antics instead of his own team

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    KP was the highest scorer for England in this Ashes. Still, questions are being raised on his future. What about the futures of Cook, Bell, Prior, etc. I think KP is just being made a scapegoat of this all.

  • POSTED BY Kingman75 on | January 12, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    I have to say it: Cook is the worst captain ever in English test cricket history, possibly ever after considering the resources at his disposal.

  • POSTED BY on | January 12, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    ECB is out of there minds...how could Pietersen is solely responsible for whitewash....Andy must be step down...think he is tryin to put the blame on players...see how could Darren transformed this same Australian team which failed to perform under Mickey...ECB remember onethin nothin will happen in overnite...must give him a chance to comeback.....

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | January 12, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    All along I was thinking that this time there is smoke with no fire but this statement (or non-statement) from Cook confirms that there is something wrong in the Eng camp regarding KP. In a team with better spirits, the captain would have simply stated that future selection would be determined on the basis of performance. Why does Cook have to talk about doing this for one means doing this for 10 players? And why can't marquee players be guaranteed selection or at least be given a sign of being stood by? Suppose someone were to ask Clarke if Mitch's place in the team was safe, we all know what his reply would be.

    KP has always been treated somewhat unfairly by the Eng mgt. His suspension for the sms episode was unfair. How can an employer control the private life and conv of an employee? All along, many Eng fans have given this impertinent look for KP as if he does not matter for them.

    I like KP not cos he plays in the IPL but cos he is the only ~great player Eng got as of now.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 12, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    I think it's quite fair enough that Cook doesn't want to make definitive comments on this issue when nothing has been decided. You would assume that he will have some input on the matter but it's certainly not his decision to make. If he wants KP in the team then he will express that to those who will be making that decision and no doubt he would express it to KP himself. Given that Cook seemed to fight to get KP back into the team when he was last on the outs, I'd expect Cook to want him in the team in the future too. Lots' of people will speculate and conjecture but the simple fact is that we don't know what any of the players in this act are thinking so it's all guesswork. I will say this though: KP is not the reason that England lost the last Ashes and they don't look like turning things around overnight whether he remains part of the team or not. If his influence is an issue then it's just one of several so not addressing those other issues will mean continued losses regardless.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | January 12, 2014, 2:09 GMT

    A lot of people are blaming Cook about not opening up about this issue. But it could be professional suicide if he does. The team selection is up to the selectors and they are the ones who should be answering these questons.

  • POSTED BY pat_one_back on | January 11, 2014, 23:14 GMT

    Sadly this is what happens when a dummy takes stage without it's ventriloquist, silly blank smiles... There should have at least been front foot 'management approved' holding statement to share if a personal outlook from the captain was deemed inappropriate at this time, the question was hardly unpredictable. Anyway time to progress conversation beyond KP, it's a discussion purely symptomatic of deeper flaws in team management not an issue in it's own right really. England's focus on test success has helped revitalise interest in the format since 2005 but it's time to stop playing fantasy cricket league, put the best eleven players on the field, back the captain, support him with good planning. Much can be learned from Aust fractious 12 months leading into these B2B ashes ie it's just cricket, stop over complicating it with all the consulting house high performance culture bollocks.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 22:44 GMT

    ugh... weak, weak performance in front of the press, back KP up or not Cook!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 22:12 GMT

    Sack Andy flower now is trying to make a team if robots never works sad Kp is taking all the blame

  • POSTED BY scarab666 on | January 11, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    It seems whenever there is controversy in the English camp KP's name comes up. Its obvious KP has a problem with the team or the running of the team, well its quite simple then KP…….leave, move on or retire, after all your best years are well behind you now.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    Why do i feel just because KP is nearing the most runs record for England. I have a feeling the ECB and most england players, current and ex don't want a NON BRITISH player to hold the record for most runs for England.

  • POSTED BY jplterrors on | January 11, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    Bet they wish had Pete Fulton in charge, 2 metre Peter is the best opening bat goin around if he had captained eng they would have won the ashes and Johnson been dented

  • POSTED BY PeerieTrow on | January 11, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    The voice of reason, Zia Hassan. Good call!

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | January 11, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Poor leadership from Cook... This has given rise to heavy speculation on Pietersen's future, and is a distasteful attempt to tarnish a legendary batsman, even though he's known to be tough to handle

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 11, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    seems that kp is the problem he took on the captaincey then resigned, his relationship with moorse and now with flower has broken down , he had rift with some england players , his loyalty came in to question after SA tour of england time for kp to move on and play Ipl and various other T20 leagues over the world.

  • POSTED BY nedingle on | January 11, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    It seems the dynamic of the team changed a little and those personalities that were tolerable started to be an major irritation to some. England need decide if can they manage those personalities because the basic fact is they are their best players. Trying to create a team of robots never works. They need to embrace those guys with strong leadership or if they cant do that a total rebuild is required. They are a good team beaten by a home team, a rising team with plenty to play for. My advice communicate well and move on.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | January 11, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    I have to ask how much of this last week's story has been just a press invention, and how much has substance. I feel that the coals are being raked over somewhat and out of it this whole story has been construed. Maybe actually everything in the dressing room is shanti and the main debate is over how and why it all went horribly wrong. Surely taking around an army of support staff on tour has to be high on the list of culprits. They did not learn from 2006-07, and of course there as an early casualty from stress then too. There are similarities which are telling us something about both occasions, and the KP debate may just be clouding the issue.

  • POSTED BY Admiral55 on | January 11, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    This doesn't look good from Cook - it doesn't take much reading between the lines to know what he thinks. His reputation as Flower's puppet is hardly being refuted by performances like these at his press conferences. If he wants to be his own man and forge a team in his name, then he's got to come across as a leader and one who has his own opinion - something which he has failed to do so far in his captaincy career - and make some bold comments. Why on earth England would think he should continue as captain after overseeing a 5-0 thrashing is beyond me. It's a no-brainer for Flower to go as coach, but Cook should go back to the ranks and concentrate on getting back to scoring runs. When England lose, no team does it as well and as convincingly, and England need to find a leader to change this mentality now.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Neither Cook nor KP is a problem. They both bat great, and they both had a poor series. The problem is Andy Flower. He has to go.

  • POSTED BY PeerieTrow on | January 11, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Why oh why is Pietersen's performance continually branded in these posts as better, higher, and more important than anyone else in the team? If scoring 13 more runs than the next highest individual total at an average that is 1.3 runs (not times!) higher sets him apart, and he's the one who we're reportedly relying on, then England is in a far worse position than we first thought. As for being unfair to Pietersen; Cook is merely being fair to the entire squad.

  • POSTED BY Bockee on | January 11, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Very, very poor leadership this from Cook. As captain, it is in his power and responsibility to put an end to this hugely destructive issue. Instead, his evasive and innuendo-riddled statements will only make things much worse.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Let's stop crying over this. England won the 2009 Ashes with Pietersen only playing in one of the five Tests. He has also been absent in other series which England have won. Nobody can go on forever and the most successful teams aren't always just a collection of the best 11 players.

  • POSTED BY Pierre_Oxford on | January 11, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    "If I gave one player reassurance there could be 10 players who want that... it's unfair for us to do that." Hang on a minute. It seems the powers that be have reassured you that you will not only be staying on as a player, but also as captain, so this is just a ridiculous stance to take! Why can't the English cricket tearm just be honest for once and tell us what's going on?

  • POSTED BY Matt.au on | January 11, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    @Madan Shivakumar

    If and when Cook plays next for England in the test arena it wont be because he is asserting his right. It will be because the selectors give him that right.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    Only KP was the man of some consistence for the English Side. How can they do this to him. If they want to go on the numbers then Cook should be the first to get removed as a player let alone as captain. KP look confident and was striking the ball well in each of his innings.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 11, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    this is completely unfair and harsh on kp! if he s not going to get a place after being the only decent scorer in the series then how come cook is asserting his right to continue as a player let alone as captain? they are making a big mistake of grossly under utilizing kp and it l show when they embark on future tours... really laughable stuff from cook and flower... at a time when they need to accept that their methods failed and keep their minds open to new ideas they want to cling on more tightly to their outdated ideals in the name of team culture and discipline! anyway all the best!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 11, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    this is completely unfair and harsh on kp! if he s not going to get a place after being the only decent scorer in the series then how come cook is asserting his right to continue as a player let alone as captain? they are making a big mistake of grossly under utilizing kp and it l show when they embark on future tours... really laughable stuff from cook and flower... at a time when they need to accept that their methods failed and keep their minds open to new ideas they want to cling on more tightly to their outdated ideals in the name of team culture and discipline! anyway all the best!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    Only KP was the man of some consistence for the English Side. How can they do this to him. If they want to go on the numbers then Cook should be the first to get removed as a player let alone as captain. KP look confident and was striking the ball well in each of his innings.

  • POSTED BY Matt.au on | January 11, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    @Madan Shivakumar

    If and when Cook plays next for England in the test arena it wont be because he is asserting his right. It will be because the selectors give him that right.

  • POSTED BY Pierre_Oxford on | January 11, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    "If I gave one player reassurance there could be 10 players who want that... it's unfair for us to do that." Hang on a minute. It seems the powers that be have reassured you that you will not only be staying on as a player, but also as captain, so this is just a ridiculous stance to take! Why can't the English cricket tearm just be honest for once and tell us what's going on?

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Let's stop crying over this. England won the 2009 Ashes with Pietersen only playing in one of the five Tests. He has also been absent in other series which England have won. Nobody can go on forever and the most successful teams aren't always just a collection of the best 11 players.

  • POSTED BY Bockee on | January 11, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Very, very poor leadership this from Cook. As captain, it is in his power and responsibility to put an end to this hugely destructive issue. Instead, his evasive and innuendo-riddled statements will only make things much worse.

  • POSTED BY PeerieTrow on | January 11, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Why oh why is Pietersen's performance continually branded in these posts as better, higher, and more important than anyone else in the team? If scoring 13 more runs than the next highest individual total at an average that is 1.3 runs (not times!) higher sets him apart, and he's the one who we're reportedly relying on, then England is in a far worse position than we first thought. As for being unfair to Pietersen; Cook is merely being fair to the entire squad.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Neither Cook nor KP is a problem. They both bat great, and they both had a poor series. The problem is Andy Flower. He has to go.

  • POSTED BY Admiral55 on | January 11, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    This doesn't look good from Cook - it doesn't take much reading between the lines to know what he thinks. His reputation as Flower's puppet is hardly being refuted by performances like these at his press conferences. If he wants to be his own man and forge a team in his name, then he's got to come across as a leader and one who has his own opinion - something which he has failed to do so far in his captaincy career - and make some bold comments. Why on earth England would think he should continue as captain after overseeing a 5-0 thrashing is beyond me. It's a no-brainer for Flower to go as coach, but Cook should go back to the ranks and concentrate on getting back to scoring runs. When England lose, no team does it as well and as convincingly, and England need to find a leader to change this mentality now.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | January 11, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    I have to ask how much of this last week's story has been just a press invention, and how much has substance. I feel that the coals are being raked over somewhat and out of it this whole story has been construed. Maybe actually everything in the dressing room is shanti and the main debate is over how and why it all went horribly wrong. Surely taking around an army of support staff on tour has to be high on the list of culprits. They did not learn from 2006-07, and of course there as an early casualty from stress then too. There are similarities which are telling us something about both occasions, and the KP debate may just be clouding the issue.