Root 'ready to captain' but Cook won't make hasty decision

While Cook maintained that his views on continuing as captain "have not changed" - he has long said that he will continue on a series by series basis and make a firm decision only after consulting the managing director of the England team, Andrew Strauss - he did hint he was asking himself "some questions" over his future.

England play two Test series in the English summer of 2017 - one against South Africa and one against West Indies - and, if there is any doubt over whether Cook will continue as captain until the Ashes at the end of the year, there is bound to be a temptation to provide Root with the maximum amount of experience possible and make the change before the South Africa series.

As he is no longer a member of the England limited-overs teams, he has no international commitments until July after the Chennai Test finishes next week and while he has sounded increasingly jaded with some aspects of life on the road in recent weeks, he retains great pride in the leadership role.

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