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  • Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day

England at 'rock bottom' - Cook

ESPNcricinfo staff
January 5, 2014 « Australia complete 5-0 Ashes sweep | Chartbeat test »
Mitchell Johnson removed Alastair Cook for a final time in the series © Getty Images
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Alastair Cook admitted England had hit "rock bottom" after their Ashes whitewash but believes the team can recover from the humiliation.

England's final innings of the series ended in just 31.4 overs as Australia wrapped up a 281-run victory within three days; the other margins in this series were 381 runs, 218 runs, 150 runs and eight wickets.

"When you hit rock bottom the only way is up,'' he said at the presentation. "It happened in 2006-07 and things turned round with a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication to the cause.

"We have to look at ourselves, look at where we want to go. We have a huge amount of talent in England. We haven't shown it in these five games. There's a lot of courage in the dressing room which will need to come out now.''

"It's tough knowing you've played in five games and been beaten badly in five games. As a sportsman that's the hardest thing to take. We left everything out there but we weren't good enough. We weren't good enough to turn it round.

"We tried to change the way we played but you've got to give credit to Michael [Clarke] and his team, anything we could throw at them they responded incredibly well and they thoroughly deserve their 5-0 win.''

England's recovery after the previous whitewash in 2006-07 took time. A few months later Duncan Fletcher, the coach, quit after the World Cup to be replaced by Peter Moores although captain Michael Vaughan, who had missed the Ashes due to injury, carried on until the 2008 series against South Africa. The partnership between Moores and Kevin Pietersen only lasted four months and it was when Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower joined forces in early 2009 that improvements began to be made.

Cook wants to be the captain to try and lead the recovery and is eager to work alongside Flower, who yesterday was given the support of the ECB from chief executive David Collier.

"I want to be the man to try to turn this round. Whether I'm given the opportunity is not my decision but I want to try.

"One thing we can say we've done well is stuck together. At times like this factions can corner off in the dressing room and there can be a lot of backstabbing but I can safely say that hasn't happened.

"But the bottom line is out in the middle is where it counts. If you look back at 2006/7, it made me take a good look at my game, it made us have a real look at ourselves as an England team and a lot of good came from it. I have a feeling this will be good for us in the long term."

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