Ashes 2013-14: England success may have hidden flaws, admits Cook

Ashes 2013-14: Alastair Cook admits England's recent success may have papered over the cracks in the side ahead of the fourth Test

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Alastair Cook admits England’s recent success may have been papering over the cracks forming in their side ahead of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney.

Cook’s men meekly surrendered the urn after heavy defeats in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in opening three Tests despite winning the summer series 3-0 in England.

We’d won against New Zealand, won the Ashes at home and won in India, but maybe that papered over some of the cracks

Alastair Cook

Batsman Jonathan Trott left the squad after the first Test due to a stress-related illness, whilst Graeme Swann announced his retirement earlier this week.

Cook, 28, conceded the recent success of his side may have hidden the flaws in the England squad – and his captaincy too – ahead of the series in Australia.

“When you win it can paper over cracks that have been developing,” Cook told BBC Sport ahead of the Boxing Day Test.

“But when you lose it hits you with what it is you need to improve.”

He added: “There is no hiding place. I’ve always tried to do the best job I can, but by losing 3-0 I’ve had to really look into myself and see where I need to improve as captain.

“Before that, we’d won against New Zealand, won the Ashes at home and won in India as well, but maybe that papered over some of the cracks in my captaincy as well.

“After these two games, we have a bit of time off Test cricket. That’s a really good chance to decide on which direction I want the side to go, or we want the side to go.

“When you lose games of cricket, you need to look at what you could have done better. As captain, certainly I do think that. I hadn’t had too much captaincy experience before I got the England job and there was always going to be a huge amount to learn.

“But we’ve always managed to win. You tend to look at yourself when you lose and try to work out where you need to improve.”

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