England news October 27, 2009

Cook eager to 'give captaincy a go'

Cricinfo staff

Alastair Cook, England's Test opener, has said he would "love to give the captaincy a go" if Andrew Strauss was rested from the tour of Bangladesh in March 2010. Former England captain Michael Vaughan was among those who felt Strauss needed to be given a break after the tour of South Africa, which ends only a month before the trip to Bangladesh begins.

"There has been talk that Andrew Strauss might take the Bangladesh tour off next March," Cook said at a NatWest coaching session. "Hypothetically, if it was the case, I'd love to give the captaincy a go but it's not my only goal in cricket. It's not like I won't be able to sleep at night if it doesn't happen."

Cook was appointed England vice-captain after the row between Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores ended in both men being sacked. "I've captained Bedford School, county age-group sides, county seconds and Essex, when Ronnie Irani was indisposed," Cook said. "But I like being at the forefront of making decisions; always have done."

Cook made his Test debut against India in 2006 and scored a century in Nagpur, after which he went from strength to strength and became the youngest England player to reach 2000 Test runs. However, he struggled later on, most noticeably against Australia and will be challenged once again when he travels to South Africa to face one of the best fast-bowling attacks in the world.

"It's a pace attack that has everything and is probably the best in the world," Cook said. "But I've done well against them and bowlers of that type before. I know what to expect and I enjoy the ball coming on.

After the Ashes victory in 2009, Cook went back to Essex and worked with Graham Gooch to rectify certain technical issues. "I've always had a double back lift so we changed that, though I don't hold the bat up as much as Goochie used to do when he took guard. I also worked on my body alignment and my footwork, so three major issues to tweak.

"My strengths are off the back foot but you have to be careful any changes don't compromise that. Every batsman in history probably has some technical fault or other. It's about managing them."

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