Melbourne [Australia], Dec.24 : Veteran England batsman Ian Bell believes embattled skipper Alastair Cook has earned the right to decide when he wants to step down from his post.
A dramatic draw in the opening match, followed by a 0-4 drubbing in the five-match Test series against India, led to suggestions that Cook might decide to step down from his post anytime soon.
Bell, who has fallen out-of-favour with the national selectors, also admitted that it is just a matter of time before star batsman Joe Root takes the reign as England Test skipper.
"Cooky has earned the right to call his time. He's been very successful not just in terms of the runs he's scored, but also in terms of his stats as captain.
We'll see - it looks like 'Rooty' is the man to take over," cricket.com.au quoted Bell as saying. "I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he does become England captain and hopefully those runs keep coming," he added.
Cook, who has led England in record 59 Tests, already headed home to consider his future as captain before a new-year meeting with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) director Andrew Strauss.
Bell, who is Australia for his Big Bash League (BBL) debut with Perth Scorchers, believes that whatsoever would be Cook's decision, it would surely be in the England team's benefit.
"I'm sure, as 'Cooky' has done right through his career, he'll make the right call for the team ahead of his own individual thoughts," Bell said.
Talking about the prospect of Root being the next skipper, Bell pointed out that the 25-year-old's adaptability as a cricketer would surely serve him well as the skipper.
"He came into the team and started learning, (then) he got left out (but) then came back in. The great thing about Joe is he learns very quickly. He's obviously become a world-class player like Smith and Kohli at the minute," Bell said. Although England were seriously duffed up in India, their faults were evident at home as well where they gave up a 2-1 lead over Pakistan in the summer to draw the series 2-2.