`Under-fire` Cook has backing of England team: Paul Farbrace
London [U.K], Dec.21 : England assistant coach Paul Farbrace has backed Alastair Cook to remain as captain up to next winter's Ashes series despite their recent five-match Test series defeat 0-4 at the hands of India.
"If he chooses to step down, that would be a shame because we want him to carry on. When you lose a series 4-0, of course people will talk about the leadership. We all know that," Farbrace was quoted as saying by the Independent.
A dramatic draw in the opening match, followed by four straight defeats in the Test series, led to suggestions that Cook might decide to step down from the role.
However, Farbrace, who was voicing unequivocal backing on behalf of all the players and management staff, insisted that England want their beleaguered captain Cook to remain in charge of what they all still believe is an improving squad.
"We would all, at the end of this series, be having a think about what we can do better, what we have learned from this series, and what we need to do to make this team win. But there's nobody looking round the dressing room thinking 'ooh, I wonder who's in charge?'. It's very clear who's in charge, and that hasn't changed," Farbrace insisted.
"We've planned, and have been planning, for Cookie to be captain going to the Ashes in Australia next winter. Personally, I hope that continues," he added.
The 31-year-old, who has led England in record 59 Tests, already headed home to consider his future as captain before a new-year meeting with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) director Andrew Strauss.
Describing Cook as a `popular` captain, Farbrace believes that England might have to get used to new leadership in case the opener decides to step down from the role.
"When Straussy and Cookie sit down and have that chat, if it's decided that Cookie isn't the man to lead the team going forward, then there is still plenty of time before the first series in the summer. (But) we know he still has the support of the team, and he's a very popular bloke and very popular captain," he emphasized.
The assistant coach believes that whatsoever would be Cook's decision, it would surely be in the England team's benefit.
"The most important thing is that Cookie will make the decision based on what's right for England cricket, not what's right for Alastair Cook," Farbrace said.
Although England were seriously duffed up in India, their faults were evident at home as well where they gave up a 2-1 lead over Pakistan in the summer to draw the series 2-2. (ANI)