England cricket team director Andrew Strauss is convinced Alastair Cook is the best man to lead England into the Ashes, and said he will give the skipper no guarantee beyond this series.
Former England captain Strauss got a baptism by fire as the new director of England cricket when he sacked coach Peter Moores and closed the door on batsman Kevin Pietersen within his first week of taking office.
Now, Strauss has again emphasised that sentiment will play no part in big decision-making by refusing to back his old opening partner to prolong his captaincy after what will be a third Ashes series in charge.
"I said at the start of the summer that Alastair Cook was very much the man to take English Test cricket forward. He’s had two matches and batted and captained well. So my opinion hasn’t changed," Strauss was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk on Thursday.
"But none of us knows what the future holds and what will happen over the next five Tests. It would be wrong to speculate on what happens after this series but at the moment he’s very much the right man."
For now, Strauss believes Cook, 30, will head to Cardiff for next week’s first Test ready to take on a formidable Australian side.
"He's incredibly motivated by this series and from a personal and team level this is a very important series for him. He enters it in a better frame of mind than he has for some time," the 38-year-old, who scored 7,037 runs in 100 Test matches for England before retiring in 2012, said.
Strauss is now relishing his new role but admits those early days which saw him having to sack Pietersen on the day he scored a Championship triple hundred for Surrey, were tough.
"I wasn’t rushing home to check Twitter, put it that way. But I honestly felt it was important to clear the way and give people as much clarity as possible as to what was going to happen,” Strausss, who scored 4,205 runs in 127 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), concluded.