Anderson: Players never doubted Cook’s captaincy

England fast bowler James Anderson insists he always had faith that Alastair Cook would be kept on as ODI skipper, and that none of the players in the side have doubted the opener’s role as captain, despite poor performances.

There were many calls for Cook to be dropped as ODI skipper, including from Anderson’s best friend, former England spinner Graeme Swann. But Anderson feels Cook is the best man to lead them until and during the World Cup.

Anderson said at the Professional Cricketers’ Association awards: “For us it was never a question really, it was all speculation with the captaincy.

“From the players’ point of view we never thought anyone else was going to lead us to that World Cup, we never doubted.

“For him I think he’s had more low points than most this summer, the amount of chat that was going on about his captaincy in the Test matches then the one-dayers.

“So to show the character he has to come through those, it speaks a lot about the guy. It was a huge test of character: it’s a credit to himself the way he’s handled it all.

“I’m sure he had a lot of doubts in his mind of whether he should have captained the Test team or the one day team.

“But all I can say is from a player’s point of view there was never any doubt over who should be captain.”

While most pundits don’t give England much of a hope of winning the World Cup, Anderson feels there is enough time to recover from series defeats to Sri Lanka and India recently, and get in the groove before February.

Anderson added: “The two series we’ve got, in Sri Lanka and then against Australia and India, it should give us a good chance of preparing well for the World Cup.

“It’s an exciting prospect for any player, so all the players are going to do their utmost to get in the World Cup squad.

“There were quite a few distractions throughout the summer, and the way we dealt with it, especially going one-nil down (in the Tests) to India then coming back, it was a huge response for us.

“The one day series as it was, with questions being asked about the captaincy, as players we just got on with it. Things like that are down to the selection panel not the media.

“We’re really excited about the winter and hopefully we can put in a good show.”