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Flower praises "outstanding" Cook

Andy Flower speaks to ecb.co.uk following the conclusion of the Ashes series

England Team Director Andy Flower paid tribute to Alastair Cook after he led his side to a 3-0 victory in his first Ashes series as captain.

Cook took over the captaincy of the Test side last year, following Andrew Strauss’ retirement.

The 28-year-old had experience of skippering the one-day side and took charge during the tour of Bangladesh in 2010, but faced a hugely taxing start as full-time captain in whites.

He began by masterminding a series win in India - England’s first since 1985 - before having to deal with the pressure of a home Ashes series.

Alastair Cook and Andy Flower pictured with the urn at the Kia Oval during the celebrations that followed England's 3-0 victory against Australia in Cook's first Ashes series as captain

But Flower, who has now overseen three consecutive Test series victories over Australia, believes the Essex batsman has performed his duties with aplomb.

“He’s handled the pressure very well ever since he took on the captaincy,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“Since he first took over the limited-overs sides and (when) he also stepped in for Strauss on a short test tour in Bangladesh - when he got a first taste of Test captaincy - he’s done an outstanding job.

“He is incredibly proud to be among the England captains to have led their side to an Ashes victory.”

The series victory was almost turned into a first-ever 4-0 success for England, but bad light brought an end to the final Test at the Kia Oval with the hosts needing 21 runs from 24 balls after being set 227 to win in 44 overs.

Despite the disappointing conclusion, Flower was thrilled with the way his side applied themselves, both during the dramatic run-chase and throughout the series.

“(It was a) tense chase (and a) great game of cricket actually. (It was) really nice to have a bit of tension in the game.

“It could have been a boring, dead rubber game but (there is) a lot of satisfaction and pride taken in the way the guys have handled themselves through the series.

“They’ve won at crucial moments, they’ve been well led by Alastair Cook and shown a lot of skill and resilience.” 

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