Alastair Cook steps down as Test captain, who will lead England now?

07 February, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Alastair Cook

After a poor performance from England in India in their last Test series, skipper Alastair Cook, who was criticised heavily for the defeat, resigned from his post on Monday.

For Botham, Cook should be remembered for his achievements as captain - winning two Ashes series and away victories in India and South Africa - as well as his feats with the bat.

Not for the last time, Cook's personal returns in a home Ashes series were fallow - 277 runs in five Tests - but there could be no disguising his relief and pride at the end of the fifth Test, when he lifted the urn in front of the Oval crowd to confirm England's retention of the sport's oldest prize for the third series running. Batsman Joe Root is regarded as favourite and is likely to replace Cook.

"If I had one memory of him and his captaincy it would be when England won the Ashes in 2015 at Trent Bridge", recalled Strauss.

It's hard to assess where he ranks in the England captains for me personally as I played with only two and, in the case of Andrew Strauss, that was only for a couple of games.

"Playing for England is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can".

By then Strauss had exited the global stage, having lost form in a series defeat by South Africa which was overshadowed by an off-the-field row involving star batsman Kevin Pietersen - finally axed by England in 2014 after a team led by Cook suffered a 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

He really grew as a captain over the years.

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The good times continued for the Essex opener as he, along with coach Andy Flower, laid in place the blocks for England's defence of the Ashes they reclaimed in 2011.

The man he will nearly certainly be helping is 26-year-old Root, England's most reliable batsman across the formats and the current vice-captain.

The captaincy drains you and those who have never done the job think you can have a long break and go again.

Strauss, who confirmed the intention is that a new leader will be known before England leave for their short one-day global tour of West Indies in two weeks' time, is refusing to pre-empt that decision, though.

Critics may also point out that he lost more than any other as well but that statistic is mitigated by the fact that Atherton, with 21 losses in 54, had a marginally worse loss percentage.

Strauss added that vice-captain Joe Root would be a strong candidate to take over but refused "to rule anyone in or out of the role".

Strauss is pleased Cook also took the time available to make the right call.

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