‘It’s not my style to go ranting and raving’, says Alastair Cook

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“I hope I can be firm enough when I need to be”

England captain Alastair Cook has defended his calm and controlled captaincy style following his side’s loss to Australia in the fourth Test in Melbourne, stating that “it’s not my style to go ranting and raving”.

Cook noted that he will not change his captaincy style heading into the fifth and final Test in Sydney, where his side will look to avoid being whitewashed 5-0.

“There’s always times when you need to use it and there’s always times when you need to be sympathetic too,” he said. “That balance is the answer to being a good leader. I hope I can be firm enough when I need to be.”

When asked if he had got the balance between anger and motivation right throughout the ongoing series, Cook said: “The results would suggest that I haven’t done – but you would have to ask people who see us work behind the scenes whether I get that balance wrong.

“Yes, I can get cross. But it’s not my style to go ranting and raving.”

Cook also stated that he was in total control of his team after rumours surfaced that other players were starting to set the field for him and tell the bowlers what to do.

“The bowler has got to be totally happy with what he’s doing, but there are times when the captain has to rule the roost,” he said. “Just because it’s not always me moving the field, it doesn’t mean it’s not me telling the bowlers what to do at the top of their mark.

“When you’re winning games of cricket little things like that don’t get noticed.”

Cook also dismissed Australia captain Michael Clarke’s comments about England making a huge mistake in dropping Matt Prior for the fourth Test.

“He’s entitled to his opinion,” Cook said. “We know what a good player Matt has been over 75 Tests. He’s had a lean year and he’s the first to hold his hand up about that. He’s nowhere near the end of his career.

“He’s got to go back and prove that he’s the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the country if he wants his place back.”

Cook also defended his side’s decision to skip an early morning training session and do fielding drills for just over an hour instead.

“We had about an hour and 10 minutes’ fielding,” he said. “We’ve done a hell of a lot of batting and talking on this tour and we just need to get ourselves ready, as much mentally and how we want to play the game rather than having endless hits two days out.”

The England captain added that the criticism the team have received throughout the entire series is no surprise to him.

“You get flak when you lose games of cricket, whatever you do – and we’ve lost four in a row,” he said. “You’re going to get flak for that.”

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