Root ‘ready’ to cap­tain Eng­land

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MUM­BAI:

Eng­land cap­tain Alas­tair Cook said yes­ter­day Joe Root was ready to take over as skip­per but that no de­ci­sion on his own fu­ture would be taken un­til the new year.

In­dia hu­mil­i­ated Eng­land in the fourth Test in Mum­bai to clinch the se­ries 3-0 with a match to spare, rais­ing ques­tions about how long Cook can re­main in the job. His fu­ture was called into ques­tion just be­fore the tour started when he ad­mit­ted he could quit at the end of the se­ries and he was find­ing it dif­fi­cult to be apart from his fam­ily for long pe­ri­ods.

“Those com­ments I made don’t change,” Cook told re­porters fol­low­ing Eng­land’s in­nings and 36-run loss at Mum­bai’s Wankhede Sta­dium. “It sticks true to the end of this se­ries. Then I’ll sit down with Straussy (Eng­land’s Di­rec­tor of Cricket An­drew Strauss) in the new year, like we made that pact to al­ways talk openly and hon­estly about stuff.” In­dian spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win claimed four wick­ets in just half-an-hour yes­ter­day morn­ing to send Eng­land crash­ing to 195 all out, mean­ing the hosts won with­out hav­ing to bat a sec­ond in­nings. It was the tourists’ third heavy de­feat in a row in the se­ries af­ter the drawn first Test in Ra­jkot.

“My po­si­tion hasn’t changed whether we won this game or lost,” said Cook, 31, who ad­mit­ted though that the na­ture of the de­feat could in­flu­ence his think­ing.

“You start hav­ing ques­tions, of course you do. Nat­u­rally you look at stuff. Clearly it’s a hard place to come on tour with the bal­ance of our squad,” he added, re­fer­ring to Eng­land’s lack of world-class spin­ners.

RE­SPECT IN DRESS­ING ROOM

Root has been widely tipped to suc­ceed Cook and the vet­eran left-han­der said the 25-year-old was the ideal can­di­date to step into his shoes. “I think Joe Root is ready to cap­tain Eng­land. He’s ready be­cause he’s a clued on guy, he’s got the re­spect of ev­ery­one in the chang­ing room. “He hasn’t got much cap­taincy ex­pe­ri­ence but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a very good cap­tain,” Cook added, say­ing the mag­ni­tude of the task should not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“You’re thrown in at the deep end and you kind of sink or swim. Noth­ing can re­ally pre­pare you for it.

“You are the fore­front of the team and it comes onto your shoul­ders when you win or lose.

“In the heat of the bat­tle you make those de­ci­sions. You ei­ther make good ones or bad ones and you have to live with that,” said Cook. Cook, who re­cently over­took Michael Atherton’s record of 54 Tests as Eng­land cap­tain, said a lack of world class spin bowlers had hurt his side in In­dia.

“This is no dis­re­spect to Mo (Moeen Ali) and Rash (Adil Rashid) but Graeme Swann and Monty Pane­sar were world class bowlers in 2012,” when Eng­land won a se­ries in In­dia, said Cook. “I think Mo and Rash have bowled well but they’re not yet in that league.” — AFP

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