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Cook still ODI captain

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Cook still ODI captain

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LONDON – England have retained Alastair Cook as captain for the One-Day International series in Sri Lanka in November, despite his side’s recent 3-1 home series defeat against India and increasing calls for him to relinquish the role.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan and former spinner Graeme Swann have both publicly questioned Cook’s limited-overs form and authority as captain.

Cook, who has one half century in the last 15 months, will lead a 16-man squad minus Gary Ballance, and including the recalled Ravi Bopara and James Taylor.

He received an emphatic backing from national selector James Whitaker when the squad was announced today.

“Let me reassure everybody, we are 100 per cent committed behind Alastair Cook for the Sri Lanka trip, and also for the World Cup,” Whitaker said. “We are certain Cook will come good, and score the hundreds he has in the past.”

Whitaker also praised batsman Taylor’s domestic form for Nottinghamshire, which has earned him a chance to add to his two ODI caps a year ago, while maintaining that Ballance remains an integral part of England’s one-day plans.

“Taylor fully deserves another opportunity in the international arena,” Whitaker said.

Stuart Broad was not included while he recovers from surgery on a long-standing tendinitis problem in his right knee.

England will play seven ODIs against Sri Lanka, beginning on November 26, as they prepare for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February and March.

Sri Lanka won a five-match ODI series 3-2 this year in England.

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.