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England planning for Cook to captain Ashes

Alastair Cook's captaincy retains the full support of the England team, according to assistant coach, Paul Farbrace.

While Farbrace accepted that speculation over leadership was inevitable after a 4-0 defeat, he insisted that there was "no uncertainty" over the issue inside the dressing room and that the management had been planning on Cook leading the team for the Ashes tour.

"We know he still has the support of the team and he's a very popular bloke and very popular captain," Farbrace said.

"If he chooses to step down it would be a shame because we want him to carry on. We've planned, and have been planning, for Cooky to be captain going to the Ashes in Australia next winter. Personally, I hope that continues.

"He's captain. Everybody knows where they stand with him; there's absolutely no uncertainty whatsoever within our team."

There is an understanding, though, that Cook will take some time to reflect on his position before deciding if he wants to continue. With England not playing another Test until July, there is no immediate hurry for Cook - or Andrew Strauss, the managing director of the England team - to come to a decision. The pair are expected to speak sometime in January.

"When you lose a series 4-0, of course people will talk about the leadership," Farbrace said. "We all know that.

"He's got that decision to make and as he said before the series started, he and Andrew Strauss will sit down in the new year and have a conversation about the way forward.

"The most important thing is that Cookie will make the decision based on what's right for England cricket, not what's right for Alastair Cook.

"Right back to the last time in Australia, he could quite easily have walked away from it. He didn't and one of the things that's driven him on is he feels his team is an improving one with a lot of good cricket to be played. We all think that as well.

"We all, at the end of this series, have a think about what we can do better, what have we learned from this series, and what do we need to do to make this team win. Ultimately, that's what we're here for.

"But there's nobody looking round the dressing room thinking 'ooh, I wonder who's in charge?'. It's very clear who's in charge, and that hasn't changed."

Farbrace also accepted that England had been outplayed by India. While he felt England had played some good cricket, the failure to maintain that over the course of a whole game had, he felt, cost them.

"This last day sums up our series really," Farbrace said. "We had one fantastic session this morning, when the two guys played really well, and then we've lost wickets throughout the rest of the day.

"If you don't play good cricket over five days here you won't win. You get what you deserve if you can't compete and string together high-quality days of Test cricket. We got what we deserved in the end.

"The pitches have been excellent, fantastic cricket pitches. We've played some very good cricket in spells. But what we haven't been able to do is string together days and complete Test matches, other than the first Test.

"We came here with the hope that we could beat them, but we weren't good enough to do it. We played some good cricket, but we weren't good enough to do it over the five days."