Alastair Cook: England captain could step down after India Test series

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook has captained England to two Ashes series wins at home - but they were whitewashed in Australia
India v England: First Test
Venue: Rajkot Date: 9-13 November Time: 04:00 GMT
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website, tablets, mobiles and app. Plus live text coverage on BBC Sport website

Alastair Cook has hinted the Test series in India this winter could be his last as captain of England.

The 31-year-old will break Michael Atherton's record of 54 Tests as captain during the first match against India, which begins on Wednesday.

In an interview with this month's Cricketer magazine, reported in The Times, he said: "Deep down I don't know how much longer I am going to carry on.

"It could be two months, it could be a year."

Cook became England captain in 2012 and has won 24 of his Tests in charge, claiming the Ashes on home soil twice and winning a series in India in 2012.

In 135 Tests, he has scored 10,688 runs - the most by an Englishman and 11th best overall - and is keen to remain as a batsman whenever he does step down as captain.

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"I do look forward to the day when hopefully I can play a Test match as just a batter, there's no doubt about that," said the Essex player.

"If that happens I am going to really enjoy standing at first slip and being the bloke who makes suggestions to whoever's in charge and not being the bloke who has to make the final decision.

"It makes me feel very satisfied that I've been able to do it for a long period of time and I've had a really good crack at it.

"There have been some tough moments and amazing moments and you can enjoy that success that little bit more because of what you go through as England captain."

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Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes Cook could step down after the series in India, or after the Ashes tour of Australia in 2017-18.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live's Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show, he said: "These next six or seven weeks are not crucial for Cook.

"He is breaking records and he has four or five years left as a batsman, if his mind wants to play that long.

"It depends on the character of the person, to be able to step away from the captaincy but stay in the side.

"He is the perfect sort of character to do that. He wouldn't want to step on the new captain's toes, he'd be a real good sounding board and be able to see when the new captain is under stress. He would be the perfect foil.

"I do get the sense that he will get to the stage, whether it's the end of India or the Ashes in a year's time, where he will say: 'I like the idea of standing at first slip and batting for a few more years.'"

India v England Test schedule
9-13 Nov: First Test, Rajkot
17-21 Nov: Second Test, Visakhapatnam
26-30 Nov: Third Test, Mohali
8-12 Dec: Fourth Test, Mumbai
16-20 Dec: Fifth Test, Chennai

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