Flower: Cook's strong leadership key

England

Coach Andy Flower has lauded captain Alastair Cook's outstanding performance, after the English sealed a historic series triumph over Australia at The Oval in London on Sunday.

Coach Andy Flower has lauded captain Alastair Cook's outstanding performance, after the English sealed a historic series triumph over Australia at The Oval in London on Sunday.

While the finale ended in a draw, a 14-run win at Trent Bridge, 347-run victory at Lord's, 74-run success at Chester-le-Street and rain-affected stalemate at Old Trafford allowed the hosts a three-nil result.

Cook was substandard as an opening batsman, scoring just 277 runs in 10 innings, but his leadership was impressive – after taking the reins from former skipper Andrew Strauss last year.

"I think Cook's strong leadership was a key. The players need to trust and respect their leader. He is a man they all look up to and he has a certain conviction and inner strength that will serve English cricket well," said Flower.

"The strength that individuals have shown in pressure moments has been important. We must be better players by the time we take them on in November. We've got to enjoy the moment and don't look too far ahead. We have to really enjoy the evening."

Limited-overs coach Ashley Giles and T20I captain Stuart Broad will soon take over from Flower and Cook respectively, for two Twenty20 Internationals and five ODIs against the same opposition.

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