Monday, October 26, 2009

Cook ready to step in for Strauss

Alastair Cook has admitted he is willing to step into the England captaincy should Andrew Strauss be rested for the tour of Bangladesh next spring.

Strauss has indicated he may miss the month-long tour of the sub-Continent, which is sandwiched between the upcoming trip to South Africa and another busy summer schedule.

Should Strauss opt out Cook, 24, would be his obvious replacement after being handed the vice-captaincy 10 months ago - in the wake of the public falling out between Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores that cost them their jobs.

Cook, who has played 48 Tests for England at the top of the order, admitted he has thought about the prospect of leading his country, but would not be disappointed should he be overlooked.

"There has been talk that Andrew Strauss might take the Bangladesh tour off next March," he told The Daily Telegraph. "Hypothetically, if it was the case, I'd love to give the captaincy a go but it's not my only goal in cricket.

"It's not like I won't be able to sleep at night if it doesn't happen."

England will play two Tests and three one-day internationals against Bangladesh, just over a month after they return from their tour to South Africa, which begins on Sunday.

Cook believes the lower-profile trip to Bangladesh could provide the ideal opportunity to hone his skills as a leader, admitting he has had little need to do so during his international career to date.

The Essex left-hander added: "You never know how you'll cope but ideally I'd probably want to have more experience of captaincy at county level before I did it.

"But I've been with England since I was 21, so I haven't had much chance to do that.
"As yet, the vice-captaincy hasn't added any pressure. It's very easy in cricket to become self-obsessed, especially us batsmen.

"So being forced to think about other players and issues can be a help."

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