Cook apologises to English fans

Cook apologises to English fans

 Alastair Cook apologised to England fans for letting them down in the Ashes series and said he wanted to stay on as captain to help turn around the team’s fortunes.

Cook was at a loss to explain what had gone wrong but was adamant he had no intention of walking away from the captaincy.

“If I knew that answer, I would be telling the guys out there rather than telling you guys,” he told reporters.

“I am desperate to try and turn it around,” added the 29-year-old, who also played in the 5-0 sweep England suffered in the 2006-07 series.

“I feel as if I am the right man to do it. If I'm not and people higher up want a change because they think that's the best way, I have to take it on the chin.

“I have a lot of experience as a player. I have seen a 5-0 before and I've seen the drive and determination which that caused that team then. I know what that takes to do.”

Cook said he hoped coach Andy Flower would also remain in charge of the side, but admitted that Saturday’s backing for both men from England and Wales Cricket Board chief David Collier was no guarantee in the long-term.

“I was given the vote of confidence from the board which usually means in football terms you have two weeks and then you're on your bike,” he remarked.

“When you strip everything down, every single player now has to go back and have a look at themselves, have a look at their techniques. Have a look at the way they've bowled and start rebuilding again. And that hunger has to come from within to do it.”

Clarke praises Johnson

Michael Clarke paid fulsome tribute to Mitchell Johnson for his part in the 5-0 sweep, saying nobody could ever again doubt the paceman's character.

Johnson was awarded the Compton-Miller medal as Man of the Series after taking 37 wickets over the five Tests at an average of below 14.

There are few cricketers more enigmatic than the quietly spoken and introspective Queenslander, whose fortunes over his Test career have mirrored those of his country -- in his pomp from his debut in 2007 to 2009, with a steady decline and the occasional brilliant performance since.

Recalled for the current series after more than a year in the Test wilderness, he buried five years of ridicule from England fans at his sometimes erratic bowling with a barrage of deliveries in excess of 150 kilometres per hour.

For perhaps the first time since the retirement of Glenn McGrath, there was fear in the eyes of the English batsmen, particularly those of the tailenders.

"I hate to say I told you all so, but I told you all so," Clarke laughed. "Man of the Series, who would have thought? Except me and perhaps Mitch.

"To be able to bowl at that pace is one thing, to do it for five Test matches, every single innings to be able to back it up is an amazing achievement,” Clarke pointed out.

"Mitchell's bowled a couple of spells in this series that are without doubt as good a spell as I've seen in my career. And I've been lucky enough to play with Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Shane Warne.

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