England captain Alastair Cook has been urged to use the Ashes triumph as a platform for further success and resist the temptation to relinquish the position on a high.
Saturday’s emphatic defeat of Australia in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge swept the hosts into an unassailable 3-1 lead and completed a remarkable turnaround for the skipper.
Cook has endured a turbulent 20 months that included a 5-0 whitewash in the last away Ashes series and losing the one-day captaincy, and former England team-mate Paul Collingwood believes he has proved his calibre.
“He thoroughly deserves to lead the team going forward. He has proven to a lot of people he’s the right man,” said Collingwood.
“Being England captain is a tough job, with a lot of critics and you’ve got to have a very thick skin to get through the bad times. This England team have been through some very bad times but responded.
“Australia are a very good side and they were in form but the way England have gone about their business has made a very good side look mediocre. A lot of that is down to Alastair Cook.”
England selectors, meanwhile, have recalled James Anderson for the fifth Test at the Oval this month but warned they will not risk the paceman if he is not over the side strain that kept him out of the third match, which Cook’s men won by an innings and 78 runs.