'Eng­land se­lec­tors would have been en­ti­tled to drop me'


Alastair Cook said se­lec­tors would have been en­ti­tled to drop him over his poor form - be­fore his mas­ter­ful dou­ble­cen­tury put Eng­land in a win­ning po­si­tion in the fourth Ashes Test.

The un­flap­pable open­ing bats­man crushed Aus­tralia's hopes of sweep­ing the five-Test se­ries with an un­beaten 244 to put the tourists 164 runs ahead of Aus­tralia with two days left. The Ashes are al­ready gone af­ter Eng­land lost the open­ing three Tests, with Cook con­tribut­ing just 83 runs in six in­nings. But he made at least par­tial amends with his tow­er­ing dou­ble-cen­tury.

Cook, 33, said he would have un­der­stood be­ing dropped, but he bounced back in the Box­ing Day Test to present his team with a chance of vic­tory.

"They would have been en­ti­tled just be­cause I lit­er­ally hadn't scored a run since Edg­bas­ton," Cook said, re­fer­ring to his 243 against the West Indies in Au­gust. "I al­ways feel I've got the back­ing of the se­lec­tors but you've still got to de­liver the goods, I hadn't done that on this tour. It was very frus­trat­ing."

Cook's fifth dou­ble-cen­tury also cat­a­pulted him above West In­dian Brian Lara to be­come the sixth high­est run-get­ter in Test cricket with 11,956. "I've doubted my­self for 12 years and I'll prob­a­bly con­tinue to doubt my­self but ob­vi­ously the longer it goes the harder it be­comes.

"But I sup­pose that's why I can be quite proud of go­ing to the well again and de­liv­er­ing a per­for­mance like that was pleas­ing. "It's just a shame it's three or four weeks too late, I'll have to live with that for a long time but it's nice to score a few." The former cap­tain, 33, said he had been work­ing hard in the nets to re­cap­ture form and felt he had re-dis­cov­ered his scor­ing rhythm.

"I've al­ways worked hard on my whole game and my ap­proach to cricket, so un­for­tu­nately most of my runs are pretty ugly runs and quite hard work, that hasn't changed through­out my whole ca­reer," he said. "Ob­vi­ously, with my bat­ting over a pe­riod of time, there are quite a few mov­ing parts to it. When they're not quite in sync it can be quite frus­trat­ing."

Cook said he had been given great sup­port by the Eng­land team dur­ing his bar­ren run be­fore post­ing his 32nd Test cen­tury in his 151st Test match. "The feel­ing when I walked into the change room last night was very spe­cial, and ob­vi­ously to­day as well," he said. "The team has been fan­tas­tic. Ob­vi­ously, we've had an in­ter­est­ing jour­ney on this tour with a lot of things go­ing on.

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