ENGLAND team boss Andy Flower is backing under-fire Alastair Cook to bat his way out of the firing line in next week’s third Test with Pakistan.
Vice-captain Cook has averaged just 14 with the bat in four Tests this summer with a highest score of just 29.
His form has been the only blip in an otherwise dream summer so far for England, who cruised into a 2-0 series lead over Pakistan with a nine-wicket win at Edgbaston on Monday.
Now, Flower is backing the Essex batsman to come good in time to make the trip Down Under to face Australia in the Ashes this winter.
“He has had a hard time just recently but all players will go through these hard times at certain points in their career,” Flower said.
“He is working hard at his game and might tinker with a couple things over the next few days.
“I’m sure he’ll come good – he’s got a very good record, he’s only 25 years old and has a lot of experience now. I expect him to come good.”
Flower has also leapt to the defence of Stuart Broad, whose discipline has been brought into question following a latest act of petulance at Edgbaston.
The seamer was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for “throwing the ball inappropriately” at Zulqarnain Haider during the third day.
But Flower denies Broad has a bad attitude and insists he has learned from the experience.
“I think Stuart Broad’s attitude is excellent,” he added “He’s combative, aggressive and is a very fine cricketer.
“He is a confident cricketer and adds a lot to our side by doing so. You want people like him in your side. If you’re talking about that specific incident, he knows he overstepped the mark and that’s why he accepted the penalty.”