Flower latest to defend criticised Cook

England

Former coach Andy Flower has joined a slew of cricket personalities to defend under-fire England captain Alastair Cook, ahead of a tough Test series against India.

Former coach Andy Flower has joined a slew of cricket personalities to defend under-fire England captain Alastair Cook, ahead of a tough Test series against India.

Cook has been retained despite heavy defeats against Australia and Sri Lanka earlier this year. The left-handed batsman, meanwhile, has not scored a Test century in the longest format of the international game in 24 innings.

Saturday saw erstwhile Australia fast bowler Brett Lee and ex-West Indian skipper Brian Lara throw a weight of support behind the under-fire Englishman – and Flower has since echoed the vehement sentiments.

"He is an outstanding cricketer and we, the English public, should be proud of having Alastair Cook as one of our own, leading the test side," Flower told the <i>Sunday Telegraph</i>.

"It seems to be forgotten, and people should not forget, that this is a young man, a 29-year-old man, who has done some extraordinary things for his country. He has scored the most Test centuries for his country – that in itself is an amazing achievement, and he's got so much more left to give.

"He has led the side to an astounding Test victory in India, against the odds, and in the main on pitches which England have traditionally struggled on, and tactically he was excellent in India. If he hadn't been, we would not have won."

The English and Indians will meet for five Tests at Trent Bridge, Lords, the Rose Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval. The series opener will get underway in Nottingham on Wednesday.

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