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Graeme Swann's views did not help us, admits Alastair Cook

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

England cricket captain Alastair Cook batting during the Royal London One Day International at the SWALEC Stadium

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Alastair Cook numbers Graeme Swann as only a "so-called friend" after his former team-mate's assertion that England would be better off without his captaincy at the World Cup.

Cook's team put in a wretched performance with ball and then bat on the way to a 133-run Royal London Series defeat against India in Cardiff – after which he was at a loss to explain why they were "not at the races".

But if anything, Cook appeared even less pleased by ex-England off-spinner Swann's remarks from the sidelines in his role as a pundit, that for his own sake and his team's he should give one-day internationals a miss for the remainder of his career.

"I don't think it's that helpful – especially from a so-called friend," said Cook, who spent much of the summer resisting similar calls to step aside from the Test captaincy – before making many eat their words as England fought back to beat India 3-1.

Swann is adamant Cook's ODI strike rate does not set the tone that will make England competitive in next year's World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

"He's entitled to his opinion," added Cook. "(But) it's not ideal for me, especially when you get through the summer I've had."

He has not contacted Swann – but has left open the possibility that a call could come in the opposite direction.

"The phone is always open the other way," said Cook, before repeating he will not be deflected from his intention to lead England down under next winter.

"I am a little bit (disappointed) – because he is a good friend of mine, and has been a supporter. It's not helpful at this time, because I am going to be captain in this World Cup.

"I've done it for three-and-a-half years. We're going to build up to that, and we've got a good chance."

Cook acknowledges much better will be required if England are to beat the best.

"Obviously, if we play like that we're not going to win many games of cricket.

"But the talent in the changing room is there. We've got a lot of improvement to do.

"It's frustrating. We weren't quite at the races today, and I don't quite know why."

England began well with the ball, reducing India to 19 for two, and then with the bat as Cook and debutant Alex Hales put on a half-century opening stand. But precious little else went right.

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