England skipper Alastair Cook has expressed his disappointment over the team’s dismal performance and said that England's Test fortunes may have "stagnated" in 2016. He has also confirmed that he will not rush any decision on his Test captaincy despite the humiliating series loss to India.
England suffered its eighth Test defeat in 2016 from a total of 17 Tests and will finish the year at No. 5 in the ICC Test rankings. It was a complete contrast to their performance in 2015, where they defeated South Africa in South Africa and also regained the Ashes series. But after that, it has been quite a downhill ride for the Three Lions.
On being asked if England had "stagnated" under his leadership, Cook didn’t deny that but chose to be more politically correct.
In an interview to Sky Sports, Cook said, "That's a fair shout, you can say whatever you want now if I turn around here and slag everyone off and use emotive language, I'm not doing my job. When you lose Test cricket, you get criticized. You have to take it on the chin."
He added, “It wasn’t great viewing and it’s what can happen in this part of the world or in the pressure of a fifth-day Test match. The momentum is very hard to stop when a side gets going like that, with the crowd and everything. You need to play bloody well to withhold that pressure. We weren’t good enough to cope. I’m gutted for the lads, it would have been great to escape with a draw but ultimately we weren’t good enough.”
With the defeat, the most successful batsman in England history has also achieved another forgettable feat – the most defeats as an English captain, his 22nd defeat from 59 Test matches, going past Michael Atherton. But, Cook clarified that he will discuss his captaincy career after the New Year with ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss and will not take any decision in a rush.
"This is not the place to be standing to ask me these questions," Cook said. "I have to go away and do some thinking. I need to get back home and do it without the emotive side of what's happened over the last nine weeks.
"I need to go home first enjoy Christmas as much as I can do and then come back in January and look to plan with Straussy and see what's the right decision for English cricket. I've got to go away and decide whether I am the right man to take England forward. It's the wrong time to make those decisions as energy is low, energy is low and you can make foolish decisions as those times.
"When there's not a Test match for seven months it'd seem very foolish to stand here now and make a decision which either you regret or don't. If there was a Test match in three weeks of time you'd have to think. But while there is a bit of space why not use it?" he added.