England captain Alastair Cook, has been given calls of confidence from his current head coach, Peter Moores, and former mentor, Duncan Fletcher.
Backing has been received from the England and India head coaches respectively, ahead of the upcoming five-match Test series between the two sides. After losing away to Australia and at home to Sri Lanka in their last two programmes on the international calendar, the Essex batsman has come under scrutiny, owing to a lack of form with the bat.
Big names - including Shane Warne - have had their say about the matter, but now two coaches who know the England captain well have said that he is the man to return the side to winning ways.
It has been a long 10 months since Cook led his team to victory in a five-day contest, but he remains the smartest option as skipper. Already in a time of transition, England can’t afford to keep chopping and changing.
Peter Moores fortunately has the sense to see that, and he has revealed his belief and confidence in his captain.
He said: "I've got to take Alastair as I find him and he's a very determined, steely bloke. He's got a clear picture of what he wants and how the team should operate.”
"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 he is at as a person. He is still clear with 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.”
That should put everyone who wants the left-hander to remain as captain at ease. Moores’ cool-headed approach could serve England well in the long-term as well, once they get out of the rut they currently find themselves in.
The recovery can begin almost instantaneously, as the Test series with India draws closer and closer. Duncan Fletcher’s side will enter their series with England not in the best form in the five-day format, and they suffered a 4-0 whitewash when they were last here in 2011.
The former England coach handed Cook his first international cap back in 2006, and has faith that the opener can overcome this career hurdle.
Fletcher said: “There were two things that struck me about Alastair. Firstly, I thought he was a very intelligent cricketer who understood the game.
“I remember talking in one of the very first team meetings he came to, he’d just been flown across from the West Indies, and for a young player we asked about someone and he confidently stood up and said ‘this player does this and this player does that’.
“There are very few players who are prepared to commit to something like that at such an early stage in the England squad.
"The next thing was that I think he’s a very determined individual.”
That determination will be required if Cook is to finally start scoring some runs, and more importantly, mastermind an England Test victory.
In the past we have seen some marathon innings from the skipper, who can concentrate for hours on end and amass mammoth individual totals. Unfortunately for the 29-year-old, his hitting of a red ball hasn’t been as consistent over the last year.
Only one century since 2012 has directed criticism in his direction, but he still remains the best candidate to lead England forward. Ian Bell and Stuart Broad are fine candidates for the role, but their experience is eclipsed by Cook, who just needs to find some runs and all of these calls for his head will seem ludicrous.
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