England insist they want Alastair Cook to stay on as captain up to and including next winter’s Ashes.
The clamour for change from outside the England camp – from the likes of former captain Michael Vaughan – has become deafening, but Paul Farbrace is voicing unequivocal backing, on behalf of all the players and management staff on the tour of India which ended in a crushing 4-0 defeat.
Cook has already headed home to consider his future as captain beyond the record 59 Tests in which he has already led his country, before a meeting in January with England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss.
Former Yorkshire 2nd XI coach Farbrace concedes questions about the leadership are inevitable after such a comprehensive defeat – albeit against the world’s No 1 team, who have become invincible at home over the past four years.
But he left no room for any doubt that he, coach Trevor Bayliss and Cook’s team-mates want him in charge of what they all still believe – despite the hammering in India – is an improving squad.
“If he chooses to step down, that would be a shame because we want him to carry on,” said Farbrace.
“When you lose a series 4-0, of course people will talk about the leadership. We all know that.
“We would all, at the end of this series, be having a think about what we can do better, what we have learned from this series, and what we need to do to make this team win.
“But there’s nobody looking round the dressing room thinking, ‘Ooh, I wonder who’s in charge?’. It’s very clear who’s in charge, and that hasn’t changed.”
Earlier, former Yorkshire player Vaughan – who led his country to a memorable Ashes triumph in 2005 – voiced doubts over whether Cook would continue.
“His body language over the last three matches was one where he looks like he might be thinking of calling it a day,” said Vaughan.
“He’s earned that right to have a period of time at home.
“I would think it’s very close to being the time to call it quits from his perspective.”