Is Alastair Cook stepping down as England skipper after India Tests?

Cook said he is ready to relinquish captaincy and continue as batsman.

Alastair Cook
Cook is all set to create England captaincy record Reuters

Alastair Cook has hinted he would step aside as England captain after the end of the five-match Test series in India, starting 9 November. The southpaw will set a record for most matches as England captain when he leads his men into the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot on Wednesday as he will overtake Michael Atherton's record of 54 matches.

Cook assumed charge as the skipper of the England unit in 2012 and has led the team to victories in 24 Tests with a 44% win record. His memorable achievement as leader includes two Ashes wins against arch-rivals Australia.

England, under Cook, in 2012 showed how to counter Indian spinners at their own backyard by winning a four-match Test series 2-1. No other visiting team has managed to beat the Asian giants in the last 12 years.

Cook himself led from the front scoring 562 runs in four matches including three centuries to help his side come from behind, after losing the first Test in Ahmedabad, and clinch the series.

Also read: Where to watch India v England, 1st Test live

However, the skipper, who is also England's record-scorer with 10,688 runs, revealed that he is looking forward for the day when he will relinquish captaincy and play the role of "just a batter" in Tests.

"Deep down I don't know how much longer I am going to carry on. It could be two months, it could be a year," Cook was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"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.

"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."

England lost their first-ever Test match in Bangladesh last month, in which their frailties against spin was once again exposed by young off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz. With very little time to get used to the conditions in India, Cook's men are likely to struggle against in-form tweakers Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

However, the 34-year-old skipper said his team is ready to take up the challenge and that it is motivated to repeat the 2012 success against Virat Kohli's men.

"I remember saying in a press conference after the first Test match [2012] when everyone was talking about how you are going to stop India from winning 4-0. We managed to turn it around and win 2-1. So, anything is possible," Cook said, as quoted by The Hindu.

"One thing you can never fault these guys is whatever challenge you have thrown, we have always managed in big games, someone has stood up and played good cricket."