England cricket director Andrew Strauss says Alastair Cook is the “right man” to lead the Test side, while Joe Root was moved into the vice-captaincy role in what could be considered a move for the future.
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Cook has come under pressure due to his poor form with the bat in recent times, but the 30-year-old notched up his first century in almost two years in the recent series against the West Indies.
“Alastair Cook is the right man to lead the England team,” Strauss is quoted as saying by Reuters.
“It has been a difficult 18 months but it was great to see him come back to form in the West Indies.”
Strauss said it was time 24-year-old Root was brought into a leadership role, with many suggesting he is being groomed to take over from Cook in the not too distant future.
“It was time to bring Joe into a leadership role,” Strauss said.
“I hear he is a strong voice in the dressing room. It is a strategic decision.”
Strauss’ decision to give his full backing to Cook comes just a day after he told star batsman Kevin Pietersen he would not be considered for the national side again.
Pietersen, who hit a career-best 355 on Tuesday, slammed the ECB in a column for The Telegraph..
“I am absolutely devastated that it looks like my hopes of an England recall have been brought to a close, especially given everything that has been said and asked of me,” Pietersen wrote.
“I had a meeting with Andrew Strauss and Tom Harrison at a hotel in London on Monday night. I expressed my fear to Tom last week when he asked for the meeting that I did not want to sit in a room and be told that I was not going to be picked for England again.
“I have never hidden my determination to once again represent England and having played one of the best innings of my career earlier in the day, I must admit I was riding the crest of a wave.
“They have used the word trust to justify not selecting me, well, trust is a two-way thing. I couldn’t believe just half an hour after I had my meeting, the result of it was on the internet and on the BBC airwaves. Now I certainly didn’t tell anybody, so who did? They say they don’t trust me but how can anybody trust them?”
Pietersen was sacked by England in February 2014 following the side’s 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia after being told he was a disruptive presence in the squad.
Strauss and Pietersen have had their personal differences, and the former was forced to apologise after making an offensive remark about his former teammate during a TV broadcast.
The bad blood between the pair stems back to 2012 when Pietersen was found to be sending text messages about Strauss to the South African cricket team.