England One-day captain Alastair Cook lauded his team for winning the series against Sri Lanka and insisted his stellar batting performance in the the five matches was a way of proving himself rather than answering people who doubted his effectiveness in the shorter format.
Cook’s 298 runs in five innings came at almost a ball, proving that he is not only Test material.
Earlier, Cook’s critics, especially former captain Mike Atherton, came down hard on the southpaw, saying the southpaw bats like a “plodder” and is a “bit of a donkey in the field”.
But Cook, after a guiding his team to a thrilling 16-run victory in the fifth ODI at Old Trafford to wrap up the series 3-2, maintained that he wanted to contribute in the team’s cause more than anything else.
“When you pull on an England shirt, people are always going to have their own opinions,” Cook was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“I don’t do it to prove anyone wrong. I do it for the satisfaction that we got in that final half-hour of the game, and you can’t replicate that. That is why you play the game.
“That is the first time I have had a really tight scenario in my eight games as one-day captain, and I thought we handled it well. I think the most pleasing aspect is the way we fought back from 2-1 down in the series.
“Everyone was writing us off, and we have played well in these past two games in all conditions on spinning wickets and flat wickets.”
England dropped Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad for the series decider and brought slow-bowling all-rounder Samit Patel. Cook justified the exclusion of the experienced Broad.
“We wanted to play two spinners. We picked Jade (Dernbach) ahead of Broady, and that is why we changed it.
“It doesn’t mean that Broady won’t come back in. It is obviously a tough pill for him to swallow, but his record in one-day cricket is outstanding.
“Just because he hasn’t taken the wickets he would have liked doesn’t mean he won’t be back.”