England coach Trevor Bayliss says the speculation over Alastair Cook’s future as captain is a “pain in the backside”.
Before the series in India, Cook said he was looking forward to not being skipper and after the fourth Test defeat on Monday he admitted to having “questions” over his role.
“It’s a little bit aggravating,” Australian Bayliss said.
“I think everyone, to a man, in the room would be disappointed if he wasn’t captain next year.”
Cook, who will be 32 later in December, took over as captain from Andrew Strauss in 2012 and has led England in a record 58 Tests.
He presided over the Ashes series wins of 2013 and 2015, but has come under intense pressure at other times, including after the whitewash in Australia in 2013-14 and the following summer when England suffered defeats by Sri Lanka at Headingley and India at Lord’s.
The left-handed opener, the first man to score 10,000 Test runs for England, has previously stated his intention to lead England to the 2017-18 Ashes down under.
But after an innings-and-36-run defeat in Mumbai, a fourth defeat in five matches and one that sealed the series for India, Cook said he felt vice-captain Joe Root was ready for leadership.
The Essex batsman will meet with England director of cricket Strauss after the India tour, as he does after each series.
“Those two guys have obviously had a big history,” Bayliss said. “I’m sure we’ll have a chat between the two or three of us.”
After the India tour concludes with a fifth Test that begins in Chennai on Friday, England do not have another five-day match until July, meaning Cook will have more than six months away from the international game.
“I suppose anyone who’s done the job for that long, there’s always going to be questions towards the twilight of his career,” Bayliss said.
The coach added that he is trying to stop the conjecture from affecting the dressing room.
“When it’s constantly in the media all the time, it’s a bit of a pain in the backside – especially when no-one else around the team believes that or thinks that.”
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