Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Alastair Cook has conceded he knew that that his tenure as captain was over during the Test series against India in November to December last year.
Midway through the series, which England lost 4-0, Cook travelled to Dubai during a week-long break and it was there that he mulled over whether he had what it took to keep leading his country in the longest format.
While Cook admitted that he would have loved to have captained England in the upcoming Ashes series against Australia in November, he kept asking himself: “Am I leading the team forward?”.
In the end, the 32-year-old knew that the final chapter of his captaincy would be written in India.
“The dream of captaining the team to Australia was certainly there, and in my mind I thought that it would have been a nice way to finish the captaincy,” Cook told The Times. “It was when we had a break in Dubai between the third and fourth Tests in India that I came back to that question.
“Sometimes getting away and outside the team bubble can help and our hotel was out in the sticks. We didn’t see any of the guys.
“When I came back, it was quite clear in my mind. Then came a couple of heavy defeats. By the time of leaving the field at the end of the final Test, I would have been very surprised if I captained again, though nobody knew that.”
As for Root, his first assignment as Test captain will come against South Africa in July.
When asked how the 26-year-old will fare as leader of the Test side, Cook said: “I won’t lie. I’m sure that first week will be strange. It will feel different when the group does an appearance and everyone looks to (Joe) for a lead.
“But once that week is out of the way, it’ll be business as usual. It’s been best that there’s been a (lengthy) break. People know Joe is now captain.”