MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 23:53:46

Alastair Cook defends Andy Flower regime

England captain Alastair Cook insists that Andy Flower was responsible for a lot of the team's success amid criticism from Kevin Pietersen.

England captain Alastair Cook has defended the regime of Andy Flower amid criticism from Kevin Pietersen in his autobiography.

Pietersen hit out at the Zimbabwean, claiming that he tried to rule by "fear", and was critical of his man-management of the team.

However, Cook has insisted that a large portion of the Three Lions' success in the four years of Flower's tenure was down to his coaching methods.

"I've known Andy since he was a player in the Essex dressing room," Cook told BBC Sport.

"He took me under his wing as a player and then, obviously, your relationship changes as a coach to a player and then to a head coach and a captain.

"I've only got respect for him, as a man, as a coach. Chatting to some of the other players about it, they feel the same. A lot of our success was down to his drive and his determination to make us a tough England side."

Cook also admitted that he felt that Pietersen's book had "tarnished" the team's success under Flower.

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England captain Alastair Cook during a nets session at the WACA on October 27, 2013
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