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James Anderson: 'Joe Root obvious successor to England captain Alastair Cook'

James Anderson: 'Joe Root obvious successor to England captain Alastair Cook'

When Pietersen did make a come back he was instrumental in Cook's finest triumph, that Test series win in India. It prompted Pietersen to take to social media where he tweeted #BringBackKP.

Despite the Pietersen affair, Cook was phlegmatic when remembering his time in charge: "I have been fairly true to myself along the way".

"There were certain times in 2014 when it did feel as if I was the only one who made that decision".

"I was kind of that lightning rod for it".

"The captain will have leaders underneath him that he knows he can go to - I think Ben Stokes would be the flawless man for that".

The 34-year-old has served Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and Cook, as well as Andrew Flintoff who deputised for several Tests in 2006 and 2007. "I felt a little bit let down by the European Central Bank in that one period where they left me out to dry a little bit".

"It was obviously a big part of my captaincy".

'It was a tough decision but in one sense easier than I expected, ' said a relaxed Cook. "I've tried, whether I've got it right or wrong, to do what was the best for English cricket at that time".

He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2012 and ICC World Test Captain in 2013.

He said: "Playing for England really 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".

Cook stepped down on 6 February, after taking charge of the team a record 59 times.

The loss of Swann was a blow to Cook's captaincy
The loss of Swann was a blow to Cook's captaincy

But in 2013/14, England's last Ashes series "Down Under", saw them routed 5-0 with Cook, now captain, averaging a meagre 24.60.

Cook reached a number of milestones while skippering his country, passing 10,000 test match runs and reaching 29 centuries.

Alastair Cook has made the decision to step down as England's Test captain.

Pietersen, who last played a Test against Australia in Sydney back in January 2014 has always been vocal about making a comeback for England in worldwide cricket. "I really enjoyed the challenge of captaincy". As he began preparations for the 2015 home series against New Zealand with a sixth opener - Yorkshire's Adam Lyth - Cook awaited the fellow left-hander's berth.

While they do not play another Test until July, England then play seven home Test matches - against South Africa and West Indies - in three months, before travelling to Australia in November for the Ashes.

"There is a process to go through", said Strauss.

Ian Botham, also a former England captain and best known as this country's greatest ever all-rounder, believes Cook has earned the right to step down at the time of his choosing.

The published intention is that what appears to be a formality will be concluded before England depart for their short one-day global tour of West Indies on February 22, and it is understood the most likely timetable will take in an official announcement by the end of next week at the latest.

At Lord's on Tuesday Cook gave his final press conference in the post, in a small, stuffy room high up in the Tavern Stand, the groundstaff working away in the background to get everything ready for the new season.

"I don't think it will personally".

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