James Anderson feared Alastair Cook would quit under pressure
English pacer James Anderson, who spearheads the bowling attack, has revealed that there were times during the last 18 months when he thought that skipper Alastair Cook might actually quit, as reported in cricket.com. This statement has come at a time when the English side led by Cook is being showered with accolades for its Ashes show. The players have had their share of bad times, which they would be looking to forget soon through their performances.
The string of failures for England started with the Ashes whitewash in Australia. The group stage exit in the World Cup didn’t help their cause either. Even after the World Cup debacle, the next few Test series against Sri Lanka and West Indies ended with disappointing results.
This phase was not good for captain Cook either, as his personal performance tanked and there was a drought of centuries for him that lasted over two years. The frequent change of coaches further worsened the situation: Andy Flower, Peter Moores, caretaker Paul Farbrace and Trevor Bayliss have all managed the side in this period.
According to Anderson, sometimes the criticism from the media was so personal and harsh that a person with low determination would have easily caved in and quit.
“I'll be honest, there were times when I thought Cooky was going to quit as captain”, Anderson wrote in The Sun. "His leadership was criticised, even his personality was vilified. He was subjected to all manner of attacks”, he added.
Anderson had words of praise for his skipper for keeping his head down, absorbing the pressure and shielding the players from it. "Thankfully he stuck with the job. What a great decision and now I hope he remains England Test captain for at least another couple of years," he wrote.
There are a few calls going around for Cook’s retirement at this high point. In an opinion piece for the ESPN Cricinfo, Jon Hotten has presented his views on why Cook should retire now while his tail is up, rather than getting shunted out like his Australian counterpart. But, the pacer believes that with the forthcoming tour of UAE and South Africa on the anvil, the English side needs their captain more than ever.
“Some people might think it’s a good time for him to stand down now. After all, what can top an Ashes win? But we have two very tough tours this winter in the UAE and South Africa. They would be very difficult for any new captain. I hope Cooky stays. I think he will." – Anderson