Cook right man to help rebuild England side, says Gooch

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 January, 2014, 12:41am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 January, 2014, 12:42am

Under-fire skipper Alastair Cook should remain and become part of England's team rebuilding in the wake of their Ashes series humiliation, says former captain Graham Gooch.

The tourists face another heavy defeat and a 5-0 series whitewash in the fifth and final test in Sydney after a first-innings capitulation.

Australia skittled England for 155 in their first innings and then built a lead of 311 runs on the second day.

Chris Rogers (73 not out) scored his fourth half-century of the series and George Bailey was unbeaten on 20 to lead Australia to 140 for four at stumps after the bowlers had earlier ripped through the England batting line-up in just over four hours.

The pace trio of Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris took three wickets apiece to dampen any hopes England may have had of avoiding a repeat of the 2006-07 Australian series sweep.

England's plight was underscored by Cook's inexplicable decision not to play a shot and a trapped leg before wicket by Ryan Harris on the second ball of the day as a prelude to the tourists' collapse.

For me, [Cook] is still a guy who should be there when ... rebuilding takes place
Graham Gooch

All positions in England's demoralised team and back-room staff are expected to come under review at the end of the series, but Gooch, the team's batting coach, backed Cook to be part of the overall solution to the England team's malaise.

"He [Cook] is not contributing the weight of runs that we have come to expect from him. He's not been at his best and he's been under pressure from the Australian bowlers but he's still delivered a little bit," Gooch said. "Ultimately, the individual is the only one who can make that decision, but for me he's still a guy who is learning and who should be there when some kind of rebuilding takes place."

Gooch said it was not the weight of responsibility of captaincy that contributed to Cook's abject dismissal on Saturday.

"He made an error in judgment which happens to any batsman. It's particularly poignant when it happens like that at the beginning of the day when you're trying to set the tone and you're trying to lead from the front," he said.

"He's a guy who likes to lead from the front, especially with the willow, so it was not a great start.

"I wouldn't say he made that mistake purely as captain and under pressure, but it's been a problem for us all through the tour.

"We've made too many errors in the batsmanship and not fought our way into positions and have not been able to release the stranglehold of the Australian pace attack in particular.

"We've only had one hundred and that's not going to win you anything.

"Everyone has to look at themselves. That's the coaches, the players. They're all going to be under scrutiny, quite rightly, and we all have to take it on the chin and we have to take the criticism.

"If you play the way we've played, the brutal truth is it's not good enough.

"We have to look at ways to move forward and we have to look to ways to improve, even if that might entail taking some more pain before it gets better."