Smith lauds ‘resilient’ captain Cook


Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith has lauded Alastair Cook, saying he is impressed by how the England Test skipper has turned around all the criticism that came his way.

Cook's side recently beat Australia three-two in the Ashes at home to regain the urn that they had humiliatingly lost five-nil Down Under in 2013/2014.

The 30 year-old Cook then endured a tough time with the bat and lost the ODI captaincy just before the World Cup earlier this year, with many also saying he should be axed as the Test leader.

After beating the Aussies, Cook admitted that he thought about quitting the leadership role before the series had started.

Smith, who himself was a captain and opening batsman, said doing both roles is tough but has hailed Cook for the way he has overcome the difficult moments.

The now 34 year-old Smith, who retired in 2014, said: "I think Cook is very resilient. To open the batting and captain your country is extremely tough. There are many stages as captain when you wobble, reach a crossroads and ask yourself questions.

"Had he not got runs this summer, he would have been wobbling. When he was failing [with the bat], he allowed the failing to affect his decision-making and that is the key: you have to separate the two.

"The key for me was creating consistency of performance. In my career as captain I grew to understand how I wanted to play and create a culture from which we had a lot of success.

"From 2002 to 2006 I made a huge amount of mistakes and the performances went up and down. From 2006 I settled into my own and we had success."