Belfast Telegraph

Monday 8 February 2016

Alastair Cook determined to keep on fighting as England captain

Published 25/06/2014

Under fire: Alastair Cook can feel pressure of being captain
Under fire: Alastair Cook can feel pressure of being captain

Alastair Cook has no intention of stepping down as England captain despite overseeing a first ever Test series defeat to Sri Lanka.

England were on the verge of securing a very unlikely draw in the second Test at Headingley, but James Anderson fell to the penultimate ball which meant his and centurion Moeen Ali's last-wicket stand was in vain as the tourists sealed a 100-run win and a historic 1-0 series triumph.

Cook's leadership has been under scrutiny since the 5-0 Ashes whitewash and his position will come under increasing scrutiny following this result, but he insists he is keen to carry on.

"It's a huge honour to captain England and I'm in it for the long haul because I believe I'm the right man for the job," said Cook.

"If someone else decides that's not the case then so be it, but I've got to give all blood, sweat and tears into the England captaincy. I never quit on anything and I'm determined to turn this around."

Cook's form with the bat has been a hot topic of conversation as the Essex man has not registered a century in over a year – a run of 12 Test matches – and has managed just 601 runs in his last 24 innings at an average of 25.

The 29-year-old admitted he needs to improve ahead of the five-Test series against India, which gets under way in a fortnight's time at Trent Bridge.

"It's tough, you're there at the top of the order to score runs and when you haven't done it for 12 Test matches it becomes harder and harder," said Cook .

"I know I've got to score runs. No one's got a divine right to captain a side or play in the side if you're not performing.

"I've got to go back to doing what I do best which is scoring runs at the top of the order."

England appeared dead and buried on the final morning after resuming on 57 for five, with a superbly crafted maiden century from Moeen in just his second Test keeping their hopes alive.

The Worcestershire left-hander scored 108 off 281 balls, which took England to the brink of a draw after he and Anderson resisted Sri Lanka's bowlers for more than an hour before the tail-ender agonisingly succumbed in a thrilling end to the game.

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