Captain Cook steps down to focus on batting

Joe Root

Cook confirmed an expected resignation on Monday, having led England to a 4-0 defeat in India, which was compounded by 2-1 defeats for Eoin Morgan's teams in one-day worldwide and Twenty20 cricket. "We know it has been a tough winter and it was an obvious time for him to step back and reflect and consider and have thoughts about what was right for the team moving forwards".

The 79th captain of the England test team is all set to leave the spot.

His England career ended for good in 2015 when Strauss - in his new role as director of England cricket at the European Central Bank - said Pietersen was "not part of the plan" in terms of selection for that summer's Ashes because of the "massive trust issue" between the two.

Batsman Joe Root is tipped to replace Cook as test skipper. Previously, Cook had led England for six years and 59 test matches, winning on 24 occasions after succeeding Andrew Strauss. In his days of captaincy, he has been named as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in the year 2012 and also ICC World Test Captain in the very next year.

"His resignation has been accepted, the Board have been informed and the proper process has started to appoint the next test captain", the European Central Bank said in a statement.

Perhaps the first instance of the captaincy telling on Cook's performances with the bat saw him fail to make it into the top three run-scorers for England, as critiques of his field positions became less and less picky and more reasonable as a concern.

Strauss, who confirmed the intention is that a new leader will be known before England leave for their short one-day worldwide tour of West Indies in two weeks' time, is refusing to pre-empt that decision, though. Cook's consistent excellence has often been under-appreciated compared to the box-office razzmatazz of others like Kevin Pietersen, a dazzling talent but one which cast a long shadow over the Essex man's reign.

Nothing broke England's morale more than the 2013-14 Ashes.

Relinquishing the captaincy, however, might be just what he needs to get back to doing what he has always done best - scoring large quantities of runs, now 11,057 at Test level.

"I think you could throw a few of them in the mix and find they've got the respect of the rest of their team-mates, " he said when discussing who could succeed Cook. Though Cook managed to score a century in the first Test, but the series ended with a rampant Indian victory.

He added he hoped to "carry on as a Test player". Mitchell Johnson's brutal pace was the absolute difference between the sides, though Cook himself was no less traumatised by the supreme skills of Ryan Harris, who could have been one of the great new-ball bowlers had he been blessed with a less fallible body.

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