Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook Gareth Copley - Getty Images

Cook in the hot seat

ALASTAIR Cook played it with a typical straight bat - he knows he has a lot to live up to following the retirement of Andrew Strauss.

Cook has been appointed Test captain after his opening partner stepped down after three-and-a-half years in the job.

During his reign, Strauss, who retired from all forms of cricket, led England to back-to-back Ashes series victories and to a 12-month stay as the world No.1 Test side before South Africa beat them earlier this month.

Strauss made 7037 runs at 40.91 in 100 Tests with an impressive captaincy record of 24 wins, 11 losses and 15 draws in 50 matches.

He insisted it was his lack of runs, rather than the Kevin Pietersen text fiasco, that made him decide to go.

"The driver of it all was my form with the bat," he said. "I haven't played well enough for a long time now. For a captain to perform his role properly it's important that he's not a passenger and also that people are not speculating as to whether he should be in the side. I knew I wasn't going to improve. I've run my race."


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