Captain Cook set for Strauss meeting - but no decision on future expected

England Test captain Alastair Cook will meet director of cricket Andrew Strauss on Friday, but Press Association Sport understands there will be no decision on his future.

Alastair Cook's position has come under scrutiny following a succession of poor results in 2016
Alastair Cook's position has come under scrutiny following a succession of poor results in 2016

Cook suggested after the side's 4-0 defeat in India before Christmas that he would take time to consider his future after four years and a record 59 matches at the helm.

It was thought the 32-year-old would present his decision to his predecessor, Strauss, at their post-series debrief, but the England and Wales Cricket Board do not now expect a final verdict.

With the organisation's emphasis now firmly trained on the Champions Trophy, held on home soil in June, Strauss is not ready to press Cook into an answer and has no intention of ousting him from the role.

Reviews of major tours and series are standard practice and Strauss has already spoken with members of the coaching and management staff, some via video call.

The ECB does not expect Cook's contribution to be unduly noteworthy. Should he eventually opt to resign after a challenging 2016, which ended with England beaten six times in their final eight Tests, it may not be for a matter of weeks.

While there is an undeniable media interest in resolving the situation, and doubtless a matching one among fans, Cook's bosses at Lord's are said to be relaxed about his stately approach. They have set no firm deadline and are happy to plan for summer series against South Africa and the West Indies with no change at the top.

Jonny Bairstow, who is with the one-day side in India and spent three months shoulder to shoulder with Cook before Christmas, told BBC Test Match Special it was right for him to have time and space to make his own mind up.

"You're questioning a guy who's got 11,000 Test runs, the most decorated English Test match player we've ever had," he said.

"To be questioning him so much about whether he should stay on...I think it's up to him whether or not he wants to stay on. He's got to make that decision and when he does I'm sure it will be the right one for him and the team.

"It's naturally a tough decision, but it's not one, to be quite honest with you, he'll have been thinking about over Christmas because he'll have been having a fantastic time with his family and his newborn and everyone back on the farm. He'll have taken that completely off his mind."

Cook has wrestled with the pressures of the job he has held since August 2012, when Strauss retired, on numerous occasions.

He has openly discussed coming close to walking away, notably after the Ashes whitewash in 2013/14 and again following a home series victory against the Australians in 2015, only to recommit.

Wife Alice has been credited with bolstering his resolve on those occasions and may once again be the 32-year-old's primary counsel. Senior team-mates in the Test side are not thought to be privy to Cook's thoughts and Joe Root, his vice-captain and heir apparent, arrived for the ODIs on Thursday morning none the wiser.