Alastair Cook insists he has no intention of resigning the England captaincy following the team’s nail-biting loss to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka beat England with just one ball to spare to win the second Test at Headingley by 100 runs and take the two-match series 1-0.
There were more than 20 overs remaining on Tuesday when England No. 11 James Anderson came into bat.
But he survived on nought until, off the penultimate delivery of the match, he gloved a well-directed bouncer from Sri Lanka paceman Shaminda Eranga to Rangana Herath at leg gully.
Cook, who presided over a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash loss in Australia, has now gone 24 innings since scoring the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds.
And his tactics came in for severe criticism during this Test.
“It’s a huge honour to captain England and I’m in it for the long haul, as long as I can be, because I believe I’m the right man for the job,” Cook told Sky Sports.
“I know I have got to score runs, no one has got a divine right to play in the side or captain the side.
“I am a determined bloke and I am determined to turn this around,” the 29-year-old left-handed opener added.
“If someone else decides that not the case then so be it, but I’ve got to give all blood, sweat and tears into the England captaincy. I never quit on anything.”
Just as Sri Lanka had staved off defeat by one wicket in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, it seemed England might do likewise in Leeds.
But Sri Lanka No 11 Nuwan Pradeep only had to survive five balls at Lord’s.
Anderson had defied Australia’s attack for 53 balls when England clung on for a draw with one wicket standing in the 2009 Ashes Test in Cardiff and so nearly did the same at Headingley
His 84-minute, 55-ball duck on Tuesday was the second-longest in Test history after New Zealand’s Geoff Allott made a 101-minute, 77-ball nought against South Africa at Auckland in 1999.
Defeat was tough on England’s Moeen Ali, who batted for six-and-a-half hours while making 108 not out for his maiden Test century.
England, set 350 for victory, were bowled out for 249 on the fifth and final day as Sri Lanka won a Test on English soil for only the third time.
“It means everything to be honest,” said Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews named man-of-the-match after recording Test-best figures with both bat (160 in the second innings) and ball (four for 44 in England’s first innings).
“I threw the ball to Eranga saying `You’ve got to somehow do it’ and he didn’t let us down,” added the inspirational all-rounder, who also made a hundred at Lord’s.
“Moeen and Jimmy batted brilliantly.”
Anderson, in tears at the presentation ceremony, said: “We got quite close and obviously we’re gutted.”