Captain Cook set to lead England but is this the time?

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIJanuary 7, 2010

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 01:  Alastair Cook of England talks to team-mates James Anderson and Matt Prior during an England nets session at Newlands Cricket Ground on January 1, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

With Andrew Strauss looking to rest for the tour of Bangladesh there is the question of who will take over as captain. Alastair Cook is the favourite. Here we take a closer look.

Cook 25 is the vice captain. With 51 tests under his belt he is considered a veteran. Being in and around the squad since his debut in Nagpuir in 2006.

All of the above will only further his case to take over the team. But this couldn't have come at a worse time for Cook. After struggling with his form and changing his technique, the added pressure of leading his country in a Test series may be detremental to his development.

Cook is a future England captain no question. But he is young and has another 10-12 years at the very top of his game. He should concentrate on being a opening batsmen first and the captaincy will surely follow.

The one downside to this option is who? Who if not Cook will be put in charge? The obvious names will be thrown into the hat. Kevin Pietersen and  Paul Collingwood have both done the job before. Pietersen though has issues of his at the moment both with his bat and mentality so he should not be considered again.

Then we come to Collingwood. Mr Reliable, the man England turn to when the chips are down. He has previously captained the one day side with moderate sucess, but he found the extra workload of it too demanding and stepped down from the position, so he may find captaining at a Test level a step to far.

This is a really important series for the team as they go into the summer series against Pakistan and the Ashes in Australia in November. They need to get off to a winning start for the summer. 

So even though this isn't the ideal time for Cook to take his first steps into captaincy, there doesn't look that there is another leader within the current England team. All we can do is wish him good luck and be thankful he is facing the weakest Test nation.