Cook: England have moved on from KP


Published: Friday 14th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Alastair Cook insists Kevin Pietersen is no longer a topic of conversation in the England dressing room and claims the players are eager to move on ahead of their one-day international series in Sri Lanka.

England fly out on Sunday for seven matches on the sub-continent as they begin a winter’s preparation for February’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Pietersen will not be on the plane, however, after he was axed from the international set-up earlier this year and launched a scathing attack on the England dressing room in an autobiography released in October.

“We’ve had a couple of weeks together and we haven’t felt the need to talk about it at all,” Cook said.

“It’s been a really good place to be around in the last couple of weeks. I think we have moved on – all the fall out from it has happened.

“In the summer I felt we were moving on as a side and then we had the release date – so everyone was talking about it.

“It’s all happened now, it’s all out now from his side and as players we’ve left it, there’s nothing more that can really come out.

“We just want to build and move forward as a side and as a captain, that’s a good place to be.”

Cook will be desperate to find some form in the shorter format of the game with his role as one-day captain still under scrutiny.

England were convincingly beaten by India last time out and the likes of Michael Vaughan and Graeme Swann have been vocal in their belief that Cook should step aside.

“Didn’t Michael Vaughan want me out as Test captain as well?” Cook said.

“That was about a week before and he actually had to admit he was wrong then as well.

“We’ve got a great opportunity as a side to put in some good performances and it would be great if people changed their tunes in five months’ time.

“Do I have the tactical nous? Without a doubt. I think the only time England have been number one in the world in one-day cricket was when I was captain.”

Cook is not the only senior player to have struggled for runs over the past 12 months, with England winning just once in their last five ODI series.

Many believe the team is not aggressive enough and score too slowly at the top of the order but Cook believes the emphasis should be more on individual performances.

“We haven’t won over the last couple of series so we do have to improve but it’s not about a radical change of method,” Cook said.

“I’ve been light on runs at the top of the order for 12 months but there were times before that when I scored heavily at the top of the order and we scored really good totals.

“It’s about every player playing at the peak of their potential and then we have a really good chance at the World Cup.

“You talk about strategy but for me it’s about individuals playing as well as we can.

“If we can peak at the right time for the World Cup, we’ve got a really good chance and I don’t think anyone will want to play us.”

After Sri Lanka, the Three Lions will travel to Sydney for the first of a four-match triangular series with Australia and India.

It means England have 11 games together before the World Cup starts on February 14 and the hope is the team can establish some rhythm and consistency going into the tournament.

“This has gone back a few years of planning as to why our World Cups haven’t gone as well as they should have done,” Cook said.

“The plan is to make sure the guys are fresh and that we have an extended period of one-day cricket and we’ve got that.

“I for one am very excited about playing one-day cricket without Test cricket in the foreground.”

For all the talk about preparation and form, Cook admits England need results.

“We have to play well,” he added. “That pressure on an England side is always there.

“People demand success because they want England to win and there’s no point in hiding away from that.”

Published: Friday 14th November 2014 by The News Editor

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