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England pace bowler James Anderson has revealed that he would have interested in replacing Alastair Cook as Test captain, but pointed out that he was never approached about the leadership role.
Newly-appointed vice-captain Ben Stokes and seamer Stuart Broad were also in the picture for the job, but Anderson was overlooked despite being England’s leading wicket-taker in the longest format.
“It would have been nice to have been considered for it but whether I would have taken it or not, I am not sure,” Anderson said. “Thinking about it from a personal point of view I would have seriously thought about it. But if I was on the outside looking in I would have thought ‘is this actually where the team needs to go, with a 34-year-old as captain?’
“I don’t know how long I am going to be able to keep going for and in the grander scheme of things it makes sense for a younger guy to do it.”
Anderson also noted that he is unsure why the England captaincy tends to be given to batsmen rather than bowlers.
Broad is one of the rare exceptions as he was in charge of the country’s Twenty20 side from 2012 to 2014.
Nonetheless, Anderson admitted that he would like to see more bowlers be given the opportunity to captain England going forward.
“I don’t know why that is,” the 34-year-old said. “Bowlers do tend to get injured, I suppose, and that might be why Stuart Broad didn’t get asked this time. There are more injury risks but I am all for bowlers being captain.
“Most of the fast bowling captains I have played with or against have been pretty successful – Glen Chapple here at Lancashire won the [County] Championship – so I don’t know why more fast bowlers aren’t given the opportunity to do it. I think they would do a good job and are suited to it.”
With England scheduled to play Test series against South Africa and the West Indies this summer before travelling to Australia for the Ashes at the end of the year, Anderson knows that Root will have his work cut out for him.
With that in mind, Anderson will be looking to support the 26-year-old to the best of his ability.
“I see myself as a leader within the group, I don’t think that changes, and I still think like a captain on the field,” he said. “I still try and help out where I can. For me, my mindset never changes. I’m always thinking about ways to help the team if I’m captain or not. It’s nice for Joe that if everyone is fit for the first Test we will hopefully have me and Stuart Broad opening the bowling.
“For a young captain to have experienced guys like that would be really helpful to him and his growth in that role.”