1 July 2014 20:00
England’s Stuart Broad has backed under-fire captain Alastair Cook ahead of the Test series against India.
The nations meet at Trent Bridge from July 9 for the first of five Test matches, with England skipper Cook desperately in need of a positive series.
Following defeats to Sri Lanka in the Twenty20, one-day international and Test formats across May and June, many have called for Cook to be replaced as captain.
Amid widespread criticism, including strong words from Australian legend Shane Warne about Cook’s worsening leadership since England’s 5-0 Ashes humiliation, Broad said the opener has the ability to turn things around.
“He’s a relaxed guy. I mean there’s a few of us who have played long enough to know that we’re in a stats-driven business and a results-driven business,” said Broad.
“When you’re not scoring your runs or taking your wickets you expect a certain amount of flak and that won’t change until he scores a hundred and Cooky knows that.
“Obviously winning helps. Winning Test matches will help with his captaincy but even if we are winning and he’s not scoring hundreds, he’ll still be getting a certain amount of stick. He’s very honest; he’s very open; he knows he’s a score away.”
New faces such as Chris Jordan, Sam Robson, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali have provided the main positives since Peter Moores was re-appointed as England head coach in April.
Broad feels their showings come as a direct result of a happy environment in the dressing room, despite discarded batsman Kevin Pietersen recently suggesting there was an “underlying current of unhappiness” among England’s players.
“You are obviously disappointed when you see criticism of that sort of level but one thing that I know from being in the four walls of the changing room is actually the environment that Cooky and Mooresy are developing is strong,” Broad added.
“You can see that from the performances of the young guys coming in. Guys are coming into the set-up feeling relaxed and wanting to play, which is the biggest point.
“I think Cooky will gain a huge amount of confidence from the environment he is setting for the side and he should feed off that.”