Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Revitalised Cook Must Not Quit as Test Captain, Says Colly

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Revitalised Cook Must Not Quit as Test Captain, Says Colly

Article excerpt

PAUL Collingwood believes England captain Alastair Cook must resist any temptation to bow out on a high following Ashes victory.

Cook cut an emotional figure as he celebrated taking a decisive 3-1 lead over Australia at Trent Bridge, a triumphant end to an 18-month spell that encompassed a 5-0 whitewash Down Under and his sacking from the one-day side on the eve of the World Cup.

In that period, he has been the subject of strong criticism and almost endless scrutiny, but both his batting form and his leadership have earned admiring glances this summer.

Australia skipper Michael Clarke will fall on his sword at the end of the series, and there has been some suggestion Cook might consider following suit having made his point.

But former team-mate Collingwood has urged him to continue in the post.

"I think he thoroughly deserves to lead the team going forward," he told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.

"He's proven to a lot of people he's the right man. Being England captain is a tough job, with a lot of critics and you've got to have a very thick skin to get through the bad times. This England team have been through some very bad times but responded.

"Australia are a very good side and they were in form, but the way England have gone about their business has made a very good side look mediocre. A lot of that is down to Alastair Cook.

"The way he's led from the front and directed the guys has been brilliant. He's had a really tough 12 to 18 months, losing the captaincy of the one-dayers, but he's really got his teeth into the Test captaincy."

Cook admitted he has been forced to change as a captain to ease the transition to a young, fearless side and Collingwood believes he is more at ease as a result.

"I was lucky enough to have a quick drink with Cooky at Birmingham and I was really impressed with how relaxed he was," said the Durham skipper.

"He wasn't putting too much pressure on himself, which I think happened in the past. Obviously, there was pressure from the outside, but he also put it on himself.

"He looks as though he's enjoying himself. …

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