Salisbury JournalCook ready for rebuilding project (From Salisbury Journal)

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Cook ready for rebuilding project

Salisbury Journal: Alastair Cook, pictured, is looking forward to building a team with Peter Moores Alastair Cook, pictured, is looking forward to building a team with Peter Moores

Alastair Cook insists he and returning head coach Peter Moores will be free to forge a new England without undue influence from Andy Flower.

Moores, who was sacked from the same job in 2009 after less than two years in charge, will join captain Cook in attempting to reinvigorate a side that has limped to the lowest of ebbs this winter.

The task in front of the pair is a sizeable one, with a raft of decorated senior players having exited the stage and a winter of dreadful results - including an Ashes whitewash - to put right.

Flower, having resigned from his role as team director following the debacle Down Under, remains on the England and Wales Cricket Board's payroll and enjoys good relations with both Cook and Moores, under whom he worked as batting coach before inheriting the top job.

The exact scope of Flower's new post, technical director of elite coaching, is not yet clear but Cook is clear that the rebuilding of the senior England side will be squarely down to him and Moores.

"Look, I think it's going to be our team," said Cook.

"Certainly we have to work very closely together, and I think you see when two (people) work together very well and they build something over a period of time how successful something can be if they're on the same page.

"Obviously me and Mooresy have got to chat about it but I have been consulted throughout the interview process. I'm sure we pretty much sing off the same hymn sheet, otherwise I don't think he would have been appointed.

"Me and (Flower) get on really well and we have been in contact over the last couple of months, working on things with my captaincy, and I think having him as an advisor on that is something he wants to do and I want to do.

"But me and Mooresy have to be totally clear on what we want to do: me and him will steer the ship. Andy won't be making decisions behind our backs."

Cook also suggested that the new regime would be looking to Stuart Lancaster and his England rugby union team for pointers on rebuilding.

When Lancaster took over the national side he did so by injecting new blood, driving home a back-to-basics ethos and breaking down some of the walls his predecessor Martin Johnson had built around the squad.

For an England cricket team that many feel had become suffocated by Flower's intense methods, it could well be a template that Cook and Moores lean on.

"(Look at) the way Peter described it...making people proud of the way we go about our business," said Cook.

"Yes it is a results driven business, we know that, but also the way we communicate with the public.

"The England rugby team has evolved particularly well and it would be wrong not to look at the way they've done that.

"That kind of stuff, the Englishness, the legacy you want to leave behind of the culture we want to create.

"I know they're wishy washy words but it would be wrong for me to say everything before I've sat down with Peter and the players which is the most important thing."

Another sporting side who have rallied from unpromising foundations following a change at the top are Australia.

But while Darren Lehmann has apparently worked wonders in his short time at the helm, Cook believes it would be foolish simply to ape their rivals.

"You've got to give them credit for the way they suddenly changed their brand of cricket. But they did it to their strengths. There's no point us playing the way Australia played because you need those kind of players to do it," he added.

"Obviously Darren Lehmann and Michael Clarke had to be given a lot of credit for recognising the strengths of their side and playing to their strengths, and we're going to have to look at our side and play to their strengths.

"Mooresy has said it's about people feeling comfortable enough to express themselves the way they want. I'm not going to bat like David Warner no matter how many people want me to, that's not going to work. But at the end of the day it's about how many runs you get."

For Cook, Moores' arrival caps a rollercoaster first chapter as skipper and he is now eager to start the next one.

"As a captain I seem to have got rid of two coaches (Flower and Ashley Giles) and a managing director (Hugh Morris). Over 18 months that's quite a lot to deal with.

"We have been in limbo the last couple of months...you have a lot of ideas, talk to a lot of people but you can't actually follow through until the head coach came in.

"Yesterday, when I found who it was, it was a weight off my shoulders. I can now pick up the phone and talk cricket."

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