Broad backs Cook as captain
2:09pm Tuesday 1st July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Stuart Broad is in no doubt England captain Alastair Cook is the right man for the job and insists he cannot wait to see his skipper celebrate a much-needed century in the five-match Test series against India this summer.
England failed to win either of their two Test matches against Sri Lanka last month, losing the series 1-0, and Cook was unable to shake off his dismal form with the bat.
The left-hander's best score in four innings was 28, which extended his run without a Test century to more than 13 months.
Cook's position as captain has come under heavy scrutiny but Broad is adamant the tide will turn.
"I certainly think Cooky is the right man for the job now and once he gets one hundred under his belt I think he'll get many more - I'm just looking forward to that hundred celebration when he does it," Broad said.
"He's a relaxed guy, there's a few of us who have played long enough to know we're in a stats and results-driven business, so when you're not scoring runs or taking wickets you expect a certain amount of flack.
"That won't change until he scores a hundred and Cooky knows that.
"Obviously winning Test matches helps with his captaincy but even if we're winning and he's not scoring hundreds, he'll be getting a certain amount of stick.
"He knows he's a score away and then the pressure will come off him."
The criticism of Cook following the Sri Lanka defeat was severe, with the likes of Shane Warne, Geoffrey Boycott and Kevin Pietersen all sticking the boot into the England skipper.
Pietersen said there was an "underlying current of unhappiness" in the England ranks but Broad disagreed and pointed to the form of the squad's youngsters as evidence of harmony.
"You look out for your mates so you're obviously disappointed when you see criticism of that sort of level," Broad said.
"One thing I know from being in the four walls of the changing room is actually the environment that Cooky and Peter Moores are developing is strong - you can see that from the performances of the young guys coming in.
"When the environment is off - and we had people mentioning it in Australia - young players can come in and be overawed by senior players and that makes it difficult to perform.
"Instead we've had Sam Robson come in and scored a hundred, Gary Ballance score a hundred, Liam Plunkett take nine wickets, Moeen Ali score a hundred - so that shows the guys coming into the set-up feel relaxed and like they can play.
"Cooky will gain a huge amount of confidence from the environment he's setting for the side, and he should feed off that."