ODI series: England limited overs coach Ashley Giles insists Alastair Cook remains in his plans despite West Indies absence

Giles stresses that the Tour of the West Indies will be used to prepare for the upcoming World Twenty20 with Stuart Broad likely to captain the side

Ashley Giles has given his backing to Alastair Cook after the England captain announced he would miss the forthcoming tour of the West Indies.

England slipped to a five-run defeat in the final one-day international against Australia in Adelaide meaning they have claimed just one victory on tour so far Down Under, losing all five Ashes Tests and four of the five ODIs.

Cook was always due to miss the remaining three Twenty20 games and will return home to discuss how improvements can be made with team director Andy Flower and managing director Paul Downton.

The 29-year-old will now also be absent from the three ODIs in the Caribbean in a move calculated to give Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad and limited-overs coach Giles the time to prepare for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh starting in March.

Cook had suggested that he was considering his future after the ODI defeat in Sydney but has since stressed he is "desperate" to stay on as skipper, and Giles has given his backing to the Essex batsman.

"Absolutely," he said.

"We are standing here and we realistically could have won the series. We could have won it 3-2. That's not all down to the captain."

On the West Indies tour, Giles added: "The plan is we are playing three one-day games there but with the T20 World Cup we are probably going to pick a T20 squad which gives us a good preparation time running into Bangladesh.

"It's likely that Stuart Broad will captain that side."

Cook is looking forward to some time away from cricket, before discussions begin over how to rebuild following the disappointments of the winter.

"It has been a challenging tour for me. I can't not say that," he admitted.

"It's been a real tough tour for me. I am not exhausted, but I'm ready to put the pads away for a couple of weeks or so.

"I will enjoy seeing my pregnant wife. I'll enjoy seeing a few sheep (on the family farm) for a bit."

Cook revealed any meeting with Flower, when the future of players such as Kevin Pietersen is also set to be on the agenda, would take place in the coming weeks.

"I'll just have a little bit of time off and then we'll start making plans," he said.

"It's quite hard to say here when I'm 15,000 miles away and jet lag to come. I've been speaking to Andy, like you do, and over the next week or so I'll meet up with him personally and we'll plan our route forward."

 

PA

 

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