Alastair Cook says England have found his long-term successor & defends Joe Root

Sir Alastair Cook believes Rory Burns has a ‘big future’ for England and says the team are going in the right direction under captain Joe Root.

A number of players have tried and failed to fill the void left by Andrew Strauss and Cook following their retirements in 2012 and 2018 respectively, but Burns has shown signs he can enjoy a productive career in Test cricket.

The Surrey skipper has scored two centuries and six fifties in 29 innings since making his Test debut in November 2018 and impressed against Australia’s brilliant bowling attack in last summer’s Ashes series.

Burns scored 93 runs in the opening Test match against South Africa in December before a freak injury ruled him out of the rest of the series and England’s trip to Sri Lanka in March.

Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley impressed in Burns’ absence but he is still expected to return to the side in the summer, with Cook offering a glowing endorsement of the opener.

Discussing England’s approach with the bat in South Africa, Cook said: ‘You saw the progression. A slightly different mindset of how important batting time is up at the top and good old-fashioned Test cricket.

‘I think Burns earned the right to be in pole position the way he played. Certainly after the Ireland Test match [last summer] when nobody gave him a chance.

‘That character, that strength of mind and the weight of runs he’d scored for Surrey… I think we’re seeing a guy who has a big future for England there.’

Root’s captaincy faced fresh scrutiny after England lost the opening Test match in South Africa, but the Yorkshireman responded by leading England to three successive and emphatic victories to clinch a 3-1 series win.

Cook, who resigned as England captain in February 2017, is adamant Root is the right man to take the team forward and says he is doing a ‘good job in testing times’.

He added to MailSport: ‘The character that the England guys showed as a side, as a squad and all the management [in South Africa], was brilliant.

‘With the England captaincy things change very quickly. When you’re losing games of cricket, or you’re not playing quite as well as you like, it’s the captain who gets it. He understands the nature of that beast.

‘Suddenly, people are saying he’s the thing, when he probably hasn’t changed that much!

‘He’s fine, if we lose in Sri Lanka, he’s still the right man to lead that side forward. He’s doing a good job in testing times.’

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Source: Read Full Article