Cook backs Flower to continue as England coach despite Ashes drubbing

London: Alastair Cook has conceded that inquests into England`s Ashes drubbing are inevitable but is convinced that he and Andy Flower remain the best partnership to lead the team for the rest of the series and beyond, according to reports.

According to the Guardian, both have plenty of credit in the bank but Flower has refused to commit himself, at least in public, to staying on as team director beyond the end of the series.

Cook made it clear that he would be hugely disappointed if Flower does decide to stand down, the report said.

Flower will shortly have a new line manager in Paul Downton, the former Middlesex and England wicketkeeper who was recently appointed to succeed Hugh Morris as the managing director of England cricket, the report added.

That position was created by the Schofield report following England`s last Ashes mauling in Australia, in 2006-07, and Cook acknowledged the possibility that this defeat will lead to calls for similarly radical action, the report further said.

Cook has also acknowledged that it is the poor performance of the senior players, most obviously his vice-captain, Matt Prior, Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann with the ball, and Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and himself with the bat, that has allowed Australia to dominate, the report mentioned.

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