Cricket - Cook: we don't know our best team

Alastair Cook admits England are yet to work out their best team for next year's World Cup - but he maintains he wants to lead it.

PA Sport
Cricket - Cook: we don't know our best team
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Alastair Cook has confirmed that he is still in it for the long haul

Cook is under increasing pressure after his run of one-day international series defeats extended to five in succession.

But he has a track record of resisting calls for his resignation from pundits - he had the last word this summer, turning round the Test series against India in England's favour - and gave no hint on Tuesday night that he is about to have a rethink this time.

The World Cup, in Australia and New Zealand early next year, still appears to be too big an incentive - despite England's descent to Royal London Series defeat.

That was confirmed in Birmingham, where they mustered only 206 and were trounced by nine wickets as Ajinkya Rahane (106) and Shikhar Dhawan (97no) put on 183 for the first wicket and India surged past an inadequate total in only 30.3 overs.

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Rahane celebrates his 50 with Dhawan (Reuters)

Cook, predictably, was asked afterwards whether he is starting to consider giving up the captaincy.

"At this precise moment in time, no," he said.

"I don't have a say on selection, but I've captained for three-and-a-half years with the goal to try to win the World Cup in Australia.

"I know that seems a bit far-fetched at the moment, when we're losing games of cricket, but there's a lot of really good players in that changing room."

He is just not entirely sure yet which ones will still be there, down under.

"We don't quite know our best 11 at the moment, because the results are showing we're not performing. When that happens you always start to doubt. That's the position we're in at the moment.

"We've got six months of one-day cricket to try and put that right."

He admits he habitually wonders about his own standing too - although no more so at present than at any time in his international career to date.

"You always have those doubts - I've had those doubts for 80 games and 100 Test matches - so you always are trying to prove you're good enough and trying to contribute runs for an England win.

"That's the ultimate aim as a batter. In international cricket, you're tested every single day - and when you do that there's always doubts.

"That doesn't change."

Those who deal with adversity are the ones he wants on his side.

"This is when you get really tested as an international player, because people start questioning your technique and start questioning your place in the side - from outside of the group.

"There is a lot more coverage than there is in county cricket, so it's a real test of them [young players] - and the senior guys will be there to help them through it.

"A lot of us have been through it, and are constantly going through it.

"But as a test of these young players, this will be brilliant.

"If they come through it, and come through quickly, they will be far better players because of it."

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