London - Alastair Cook has indicated the upcoming Test
series against India could be his last as England captain.
But the 31-year-old Essex left-hander said that whatever his
future as skipper, he would like to continue his Test career purely as an
Cook is set to break Michael Atherton's record of 54 Tests
as England captain when he leads the tourists in the first of five-match series
against India in Rajkot on Wednesday.
"Deep down I don't know how much longer I am going to
carry on," he said in an interview with this month's Cricketer magazine
quoted by The Times newspaper.
"It could be two months, it could be a year."
Cook became England captain in 2012 and promptly led his
side to a 2-1 series win in India that year.
In total, Cook has won 24 of his Tests as captain, a tally
that includes two home Ashes series triumphs.
His tally of 10,688 runs in 135 Tests is the highest by any
England batsman and includes a century on debut, against India in Nagpur in
That was the first of 29 Test hundreds, another England
record, and Cook would like to return to the ranks before he retires from
"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 Cook.
"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.
"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."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan told BBC radio on
Monday that Cook could relinquish the leadership of the team either following
the India series of after the 2017/18 Ashes tour of Australia.
"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," said Vaughan.
"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."