An angry and frustrated Alastair Cook has vowed to lead England back from “rock bottom” after they suffered an Ashes whitewash in Sydney.
Cook’s tourists folded in a familiar hurry in the latest of a series of collapses and were bowled out for 166, losing the final Test by 281 runs inside three days at the SCG.
Four wickets fell for eight runs straight after tea, an alarming passage of play which was merely in keeping with much that preceded it in four previous heavy defeats.
As he came to terms with the 5-0 scoreline in a series England began two-and-a-half months ago with high hopes of a fourth successive Ashes victory, Cook restated his intention to remain in office and his wish that coach Andy Flower does too.
Cook has been in charge little more than a year, and up until this winter had not known defeat in a tenure which started with an historic series victory in India.
As Australia paraded a replica urn in front of their noisy and adoring supporters, Sydney was a world away from England’s 3-0 win at home to their Ashes rivals just last summer.
“There is anger in me and frustration, because for whatever reason we haven’t played very well - and the buck stops with me,” said Cook, who was also involved - under the short-lived captaincy of Andrew Flintoff - when England were whitewashed here two tours ago.
“When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up.
“It happened in 2006-07, and things turned round with a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication to the cause.”
Cook wants Flower to stay on too.
“I hope Andy is with us, I really do,” he said. “His record suggests he is a fantastic coach. He is a great man,”