Cape Town - England fast bowler James Anderson has come out in support of skipper Alastair Cook who has been heavily criticized for the team's performance in the series in India.
The criticism has become particularly vociferous after Cook made the decision to play just two spinners in Mumbai and made several tactical blunders.
England are still 49 runs behind India with only four wickets in hand after a Virat Kohli masterclass helped India to a total of 631 and the tourists were reduced to 182 for 6 by the close on day four.
When asked if Cook would retain the captaincy Anderson replied: “I’ve no idea, I hope so. He’s still very keen to be England captain as far as I’m aware, I still think he want to be. I know I’m biased because I’m his good friend, but I think he’s still a very good captain.”
England needed just three wickets to wrap up the Indian innings but were made to wait as Kohli and Jayant Yadav put on a stand that fell just two runs short of the world record mark for the eighth wicket.
Of the frustration Anderson said: "We came here thinking if we got three wickets quickly we were in the game.
“Unfortunately that didn’t happen. It was probably our worst morning of the whole tour from a bowling point of view and control. We were clawing it back from there.
"To be fair, the fielding was pretty good, as was the energy. When the ball is flying around it is harder. You need to be led by the bowlers and we didn’t have that.
"We tried to stick to our plans. We changed it up a bit as well to try and take them out of their comfort zone but couldn’t find the right formula. But they played really well.
"We had success against Kohli in England but the pace of these pitches takes any flaws out of the equation. He stays patient and waits. He plays spin very well.”
Anderson said despite the situation England will fight to the end and keep trying to win the game.
The quick said: "We've got to keep believing.
“We've still got batting to come. We’re not going to come out of this game with a draw; we want to win this game. We're going to have to bat extremely well tomorrow."
England are 2-0 down in the series and only a win will keep hopes of levelling the series alive.