ENGLAND off-spinner James Tredwell insists under-fire skipper Alastair Cook is on the verge of silencing his doubters as England prepare for their latest one-day examination at the hands of Sri Lanka in Hambantota tomorrow.
Cook has faced renewed calls to quit as one-day captain in the wake of an eight-wicket capitulation to Sri Lanka on Saturday, with the defeat England’s 15th in 22 one-day internationals (ODIs) against Test-playing nations.
England trail Sri Lanka 2-0 and are staring down the barrel of a sixth successive series defeat with Cook at the helm, while the slump is lent extra significance by the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand being only a matter of months away.
The 29-year-old is without a century in 41 ODIs and averages 29.07 from 16 matches in 2014 with a strike-rate of 71.4, but Tredwell insists Cook shows no sign of buckling under that pressure.
“We are a team, he is our leader and we want that to continue,” said the 32-year-old. “He is just working on getting that score, which is just around the corner.
“Everyone keeps going on about him, but we don’t really notice it in the dressing room. He’s pretty level-headed and clam about it. He is a class player and we are all behind him in his leadership.”
Nottinghamshire’s power-hitting duo Alex Hales and James Taylor, who posted averages of 76.8 and 86.8 respectively in domestic 50-over cricket last term, remain patiently waiting in the wings having not featured on the tour so far.
Chris Woakes is expected to be fit for the third ODI despite missing training yesterday with a stomach upset, with either Ben Stokes or Chris Jordan likely to deputise should he fail to recover. Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene, meanwhile, has asked to be excused from the game for personal reasons.
England will play West Indies on 9 February and Pakistan two days later in warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup.