Hussain wants Cook to stay

England

Former skipper Nasser Hussain has sprung to the defence of current captain Alastair Cook, amid suggestion of a prompt resignation in the wake of Test series defeat to Sri Lanka.

Former skipper Nasser Hussain has sprung to the defence of current captain Alastair Cook, amid suggestion of a prompt resignation in the wake of Test series defeat to Sri Lanka.

Whitewashed five-nil by the Australians earlier this year, Cook and company slumped to a 100-run defeat in the series decider at Headingley in Leeds on Tuesday.

The left-handed Cook's form at the top of the order, meanwhile, continued to languish – and remains without a Test century for two dozen innings. He has, however, publicly stated quitting won't follow.

"I have heard people say there are no other viable alternatives to Cook but to me that is irrelevant. Alastair certainly can't think about that. You can't be England captain just because there do not seem to be any better options," Hussain wrote in the <i>Daily Mail</i>.

"It has also been said that you can't get rid of the captain after just two Tests of the new era. Again, the timing is irrelevant. Either Cook is the right man to lead his country or he isn't, irrespective of whether England are starting afresh.

"Cook must not be swayed by the support of anyone, nor indeed by any criticism. The decision has to come from within and he needs to go away now and take some time before he confirms that it is best for him to carry on.

"He will need to decide whether the stresses and strains of the captaincy are affecting his batting or stopping his enjoyment of the game. Is it getting too much for him because if it is then it will translate to his team."

Hussain found consolation in the outstanding performance of batsman Moeen Ali, whose unbeaten 108 – and caring shepherding of tail-ender James Anderson – ultimately proved in vain.

"One major plus for England was the performance of Ali, who has impressed me more than any of the other newcomers to this England side. He was very calm during his 108 not out and showed a superb technique while being very easy on the eye," he added.

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