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“We had an opportunity to win the Champions Trophy and the Ashes in a short space of time and we didn’t quite take it”
England captain Alastair Cook has publicly admitted that he and his team-mates “are always going to be disappointed by the Champions Trophy final”, in which they lost to India by five runs in Birmingham.
At one point in the match, England had six wickets in hand and only needed 20 runs to win off 16 balls, but they ended up choking, which cost them the chance to win the last ever Champions Trophy.
The Champions Trophy will now be replaced by the World Test Championship.
“We should have won that game,” Cook said while shaking his head. “We should have won that game of cricket chasing 130.
“As a team we are always going to be disappointed by the Champions Trophy final. It took quite a long time to get over it. It was the same for me personally. The game was in our grasp. That was a tough day and I think it took us a long time to get over.
“They were unique circumstances. To have a Champions Trophy and go straight into an Ashes within 10 days was tough. Losing knocked us down a bit more than we thought. We already started the Ashes a little bit jaded.”
Despite most of the media attention focused on the Ashes, there was no denying that Cook and his men had squandered the chance to win a global ODI trophy.
The next major ODI tournament for England will be the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“It was certainly a good tournament,” Cook said. “To have it in two weeks, with every game having meaning was sensational. Past World Cups haven’t felt like that. But we had an opportunity to win the Champions Trophy and the Ashes in a short space of time and we didn’t quite take it.”
Moving on to the topic of the Ashes, which England won 3-0, Cook conceded that he performed well under par with the bat and was disgusted with his average of 27.70.
“It’s frustrating because I feel my game is in good order,” he said. “You don’t look at any career and see a constant upward curve. That’s what being a batsmen is. But it doesn’t sit easy with me to say that and accept it to be fine.
“As a captain you want to lead from the front and score runs; that is your primary job. Particularly when you play your first Ashes series as captain.
“But until you’ve gone through it you don’t really know what to expect. It is more intense, it is more heightened.
“I don’t think that has affected my batting. It’s more of a bone of frustration. I still felt I contributed with three fifties and if you change fifties into hundreds it changes the complexion. I’m looking forward to putting that right.”
However, Cook admitted that one of the most satisfying moments for him was going into India in November 2012 and leading his side to victory in the four-match Test series.
Cook’s triumph in India went down in history books since it was the first time any touring England side had beaten the Indians in a Test series on home soil in 28 years.
“When you achieve something as special as that, it does reignite the side and squad,” Cook said. “That will be the series that, when I stop playing cricket and look back, I will think was special.
“The next time we go to India, too, we will realise what we achieved. If you look where we were at the end of the second or third day of that first Test, I think it was an even greater achievement.
“I can’t fault the lads – there is always going to be a bit or turmoil when a new captain comes in that – that is natural. I’d been captain of the ODI side, but when you lose someone like Andrew Strauss with the credit he’s got and the respect he’s got, there’s always going to be time to get used to it. But the lads responded to me and the way we’ve gone on, we can’t fault that. We need to draw on that in the next three months.”