Cook shrugs off KP criticism

Alastair Cook is aiming to answer his critics

Alastair Cook is aiming to answer his critics

First published in National Sport News © by

Alastair Cook has once again defiantly stated he wants to remain England captain and is unfazed by former team-mate Kevin Pietersen's assertion he should resign.

Cook has faced calls from several former skippers of the national side to stand down, with Pietersen, who was sacked by England in the wake of the Ashes whitewash, the latest to criticise the left-handed opener's leadership.

In his column for the Daily Telegraph, outspoken Pietersen wrote that Cook is only in the job because it would be "yet another PR disaster" for the England and Wales Cricket Board to sack him now.

But even though he has presided over seven Test defeats in nine matches and is going through a dreadful run of form personally, Cook is keen to continue as captain.

"The last three or four weeks, everyone's been saying that. It is no different who else says it," Cook said.

"I've just got to stay true to myself and say how good it would be if I could get through this as a person, as a player, as a leader and take huge strides from it.

"I'm desperate to carry on because I love being England captain, it's a huge honour.

"I said when I first took over 'I just want to throw everything into it' and until that time where I don't feel as if I can carry on doing it or someone taps me on the shoulder then that's what I'm going to to do."

England's 95-run defeat to India in the second Test at Lord's means if they lose the next match in Southampton, which starts tomorrow, they will be unable to win the series.

Cook chose to remain positive, though, and believes they are still capable of emerging triumphant in this five-match Investec series.

"The last week's been a hard week in terms of we lost a game of cricket," he said. "The good news in a five Test match series is you've got chance to bounce back and you get judged at the end of the series.

"The frustrating thing has been that we've been getting ourselves into situations, especially in the four Test matches where we've been ahead of the game by quite a long way and haven't been able to force that result.

"We must be doing a lot of things really well but at the crucial sessions, when we need to stamp our authority to get that win, we haven't been able to take.

"It's bubbling under but the longer it goes without a win it becomes harder and harder."

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