London: He might have been the heir apparent for more than a year but Alastair Cook insisted he'd been taken aback by his elevation to the England Test captaincy following Andrew Strauss's retirement on Wednesday.
Cook insisted he had no idea his Test match opening partner was considering not just giving up the captaincy but quitting all cricket, until told on Tuesday of his fellow left-hander’s decision.
Asked if his elevation to the job he'd long been tipped to inherit had come earlier than expected Cook, who replaced Strauss as England’s one-day captain following the latter's one-day retirement after last year's World Cup, replied: "Yes I think it has. It's been a bit of a strange 24 hours for me personally.
"I'm incredibly proud to be sitting here now as captain of England," said the 27-year-old Essex batsman, who scored a century on his Test debut against India in Nagpur in 2006.
"It's a huge honour for me. I'm very excited about the challenge."
Strauss was one of England’s most successful Test captains winning 24 of his 50 matches in charge and leading the side to home and away Ashes series wins.
The Middlesex batsman, who took charge in 2009, also guided England to the top of the world Test rankings — a position they lost to South Africa after the Proteas completed a 51-run win in Strauss's 100th, and as it turned out, last Test at Lord's earlier his month.