Mumbai - England captain Alastair Cook said on Monday Joe Root
was ready to take over as skipper but that no decision on his own future would
be taken until the new year.
India humiliated England in the fourth Test in Mumbai to
clinch the series 3-0 with a match to spare, raising questions about how long
Cook can remain in the job.
His future was called into question just before the tour
started when he admitted he could quit at the end of the series and he was
finding it difficult to be apart from his family for long periods.
"Those comments I made don't change," Cook told
reporters following England's innings and 36-run loss at Mumbai's Wankhede
"It sticks true to the end of this series. Then I'll
sit down with Straussy (England's Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss) in the
new year, like we made that pact to always talk openly and honestly about
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed four wickets in
just half-an-hour on Monday morning to send England crashing to 195 all out,
meaning the hosts won without having to bat a second innings.
It was the tourists' third heavy defeat in a row in the
series after the drawn first Test in Rajkot.
"My position hasn't changed whether we won this game or
lost," said Cook, 31, who admitted though that the nature of the defeat
could influence his thinking.
"You start having questions, of course you do.
Naturally you look at stuff. Clearly it's a hard place to come on tour with the
balance of our squad," he added, referring to England's lack of
Root has been widely tipped to succeed Cook and the veteran
left-hander said the 25-year-old was the ideal candidate to step into his
"I think Joe Root is ready to captain England. He's
ready because he's a clued on guy, he's got the respect of everyone in the
"He hasn't got much captaincy experience but that
doesn't mean he can't be a very good captain," Cook added, saying the
magnitude of the task should not be underestimated.
"You're thrown in at the deep end and you kind of sink
or swim. Nothing can really prepare you for it.
"You are the forefront of the team and it comes onto
your shoulders when you win or lose.
"In the heat of the battle you make those decisions.
You either make good ones or bad ones and you have to live with that,"
Cook, who recently overtook Michael Atherton's record of 54
Tests as England captain, said a lack of world class spin bowlers had hurt his
side in India.
"This is no disrespect to Mo (Moeen Ali) and Rash (Adil
Rashid) but Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar were world class bowlers in
2012," when England won a series in India, said Cook.
"I think Mo and Rash have bowled well but they're not
yet in that league."