Moores defends 'steely' captain Cook

England

England head coach Peter Moores has given his full backing to embattled Test captain Alastair Cook, who was blasted from all corners after his side's series defeat to Sri Lanka and a slump in batting form.

England head coach Peter Moores has given his full backing to embattled Test captain Alastair Cook, who was blasted from all corners after his side's series defeat to Sri Lanka and a slump in batting form.

Cook was heavily criticised for his lack of captaincy nous at Headingley, especially on day four when Sri Lanka mounted a big score, and then went on to win in the final over on day five, with one ball to spare.

But Moores defended Cook, who has had a lean patch with the bat on top of this, and said the 'steely' skipper would be a force to be reckoned with when his form returned, and that it was too soon to start making more changes.

Moores said: "I've got to take Alastair as I find him and he's a very determined, steely bloke. That to me is what has come across since I've taken the job. He's got a clear picture of what he wants as a team and how that team should operate.

"Because it doesn't always operate like that at the start, the key here is to see it for what it is and we're going to get to where we want to get to, and not to go away from what it is we're trying to get to. We've got to keep driving that home.

"Nobody more than Alastair knows what international cricket is like. He has been in it since he was 19 or whatever so he knows the script. He'll do his work and he'll be ready to go and he'll be ready to play.

"He knows we are judged by results; that is the name of the game, be it as a captain or as a batter. He will go to what he knows best, work hard and get ready to play against India, and then the judgement is in the game itself. If you get runs, you get runs, if you don't, you don't."

When asked if he'd considered that Cook might not be the best bet going forward, Moores said he'd thought about it, but still felt that the Essex man was the right pick upon which to build the new team.

He said: "Of course it's in your mind. Where Alastair is at as a captain – he has had a very tough six or seven months. He knows that and I can only assess where is at at the moment as a person.

"He is still clear about what he wants, he is still driven to do the job which says something about his determination to get on and do it, so I think he is the right man.

"I think we are starting to get to know each other. I knew him from before but we have to redefine that relationship and how it works best for the team. With new players coming in we have to redefine what we are as a team and how we play our cricket, so that is all going on at the moment.

"Two Tests in it is early, but that doesn't mean we are not trying to drive it as fast as we can because we are.

"Normally it would be rare to say 'we're going to pick a team and it's going to work brilliantly straight away'. There are areas where we have got to get better. We have seen areas on our catching we need to address.

"The key is are we prepared to do the work, are we prepared to face up to the areas where we need to get better?

"The time frame of it, you can't put it on, but the expectation isn't going to change because we are an England team, so we have to take that on the chin. We have got to be prepared to work hard every second of every day to work where we want to get to."

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