Cook needs to get support from senior players, says James Anderson

"I don't think over the winter that senior players helped as much as they could with taking pressure off Cooky"

“I don’t think over the winter that senior players helped as much as they could with taking pressure off Cooky”

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

England pace bowler James Anderson has announced that the senior players in the national team have to start lending more support to captain Alastair Cook.

Anderson’s comments specifically relate to England’s disastrous tour of Australia, where they were whitewashed 5-0 in the Ashes series.

“I don’t think over the winter that senior players helped as much as they could with taking pressure off Cooky, a captain’s job is difficult and he needs his senior players around him to share the burden,” Anderson said. “When you’re in Australia and you get on to a bit of a down slope, you can get a little bit insular I guess, start worrying about your own game perhaps.”

With the 2015 World Cup less than a year away, Anderson has called on batsman Ian Bell and fellow pace bowler Stuart Broad to help shoulder the burden.

“If we want to win the World Cup, we’re going to have to start playing well quickly,” Anderson said. “I think the senior players have got a huge role to play.

“As a captain, it can’t always be his job to discipline people or think of tactics or make bowling changes. It’s everyone’s job to be thinking about the game, how the team can improve and be offering that advice, it doesn’t always have to come from the captain.

“That’s where the senior players come in. When we’ve done well in the past is when we’ve had five or six guys who can stand up in the dressing-room and give feedback, that shares the burden and takes a bit of pressure off the captain.”

Anderson also admitted that he has not bowled to the best of his abilities in the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka.

When asked if this was because he was still haunted by the Ashes series, Anderson, with a small wry smile on his face, said: “You’d think so. But I’ve not played very well here in the last few international games. But certainly the first two games of the series I’ve bowled well and hopefully I can continue that.”

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