ODI series: Alastair Cook finds the 'confidence' to lead team into the World Cup after England finally beat Australia - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

ODI series: Alastair Cook finds the 'confidence' to lead team into the World Cup after England finally beat Australia

The tourists won by 57 runs in the fourth one-day international

Following a week of uncertainty in which Alastair Cook raised the suggestion he may not continue as England’s captain, the batsman confirmed what everybody listening to him felt, that he wished to continue in the job – indeed he was “desperate” to do so.

Moreover, he believed it would be wrong to change leadership with the World Cup just over a year away. It was a welcome positive assertion on the day England finally broke their losing habit.

After the 57-run win at the Waca, Cook was as relaxed as he was taut days earlier when England were easily beaten at Sydney, two days after throwing away a winning position in Brisbane.

The difference, Cook said, was speaking with his team-mates, who have publicly backed him this week, and that made him realise he wants to stay on. Before the match, he said: “I’m lucky enough to do this job. I’m desperate to carry on now.”

Afterwards, he added: “I spoke what I was feeling at the time [in Sydney] which probably you shouldn’t do. But we can move on. When you win a game of cricket, everyone thinks you’re a good captain. When you lose, everyone thinks you’re not.

“You do learn all the time and three years is quite a long time to do it. It would be wrong to change so close to the World Cup and if I’m given the opportunity to continue,  obviously I would like to.

“In the last four or five days I have done quite a lot of talking to some of the guys. Sometimes you do need a bit of reassurance when you’ve lost a lot of games on a tour. When you chat to some guys you trust and you respect what they’re thinking, it gives you the confidence.”

On finally managing to beat the Aussies for the first time on this tour, Cook added: “It feels pretty good, to be honest with you. It has been a long time coming but the thought of losing 10-0 was a cross to bear. We did a lot of things very well today.”

One man in particular to have done things well was all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had been targeted by the Australians in the dramatic one-wicket defeat in Brisbane a week ago, when Australia chased down 300.

The Durham man this time claimed three important late wickets, including Australia’s Gabba hero James Faulkner.

“The thing I like about Stokesy is he had a tough last over in Brisbane when he didn’t get it right but there was no stopping him today wanting to bowl in those last 10 [overs],” Cook said. “He improved from Brisbane. If he keeps on that learning curve and dusts himself off when it doesn’t go well he’s going to be a hell of a cricketer.”

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler’s impact was no less important as he crashed four sixes and six fours, before his fifth catch with the gloves completed victory.

“I’ve seen him do that with the bat a huge amount of times for Somerset,” Cook said. “He’ll be first to admit it took him a little bit of time to find his feet in international cricket but he’s growing all the time.

“The game is very different to the county game and what had impressed me is how he’s adapted his shots to still do the damage at the end.”

The stand-in Australia captain, George Bailey, admitted the absence of four key players for his side had made the difference.

Regular captain Michael Clarke, David Warner, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin were rested as Australia begin their preparations for their tour of South Africa next month.

“It does make a difference. [But] there’s some huge series coming up especially that Test series in South Africa,” Bailey said. “I don’t think any players have an issue that those guys had earned a rest.”

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week