Root offers unwavering support to under-fire Cook
Joe Root was unequivocal in his backing of the under-pressure Alastair Cook after England fell to a heavy defeat at the hands of India in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
The tourists needed just 17 deliveries on the fifth morning to claim the final wicket and wrap up a 203-run thrashing to reduce England's series lead to 2-1 with two matches to come.
Cook, England's all-time leading Test run scorer, has struggled for consistent scores over the past year, only passing fifty on two occasions since West Indies' tour in August and September 2017 - although one of those did end in an epic unbeaten 244 against Australia in Melbourne.
In his five innings of this series against India, Cook has made scores of 13, 0, 21, 29 and 17, but captain Root insists his predecessor will be in the team for the fourth Test beginning at the Ageas Bowl on August 30.
"Alastair Cook is a world-class performer," Root told a news conference. "He's proven that time and time again.
"I'd like you [the media] to write him off because every time he's written off he comes back and scores a double-hundred.
"We have to be realistic about the surfaces we've been playing on. Throughout the whole summer, they've been very much tailored around seam bowling and we've had some very bowler-friendly conditions.
"There's been a lot of cloud cover, the ball has seamed around quite a lot and it's obviously swung as well. And the hardest point to bat is opening. Both sides' top orders have struggled and it might be that's the case again in Southampton.
"But there's no one with more experience currently in Test cricket than him. If you watch him apply himself in training, or the way he goes about his practice, he doesn't look like someone who is thinking about jacking it in. He seems very dedicated.
"I'm sure he will be calling upon all of that going into that game and giving himself the best chance. Yes, 100 per cent I want him for the rest of the series."