England captain Andrew Strauss believes Alastair Cook's performance as stand-in skipper during the recent Test series in Bangladesh proved he has the potential to do the job on a permanent basis in the future.
Strauss missed England's tour of Bangladesh in order to rest ahead of a busy year which will culminate with the Ashes series in Australia.
But the batsman has no regrets because Essex opener Cook led the team to a 2-0 series win and gained valuable experience which will benefit England in the long-term.
Cook averaged 114 in Bangladesh to demonstrate he could cope with leading the team and opening the batting and Strauss told BBC Radio Five: "If I got injured this season then he would take over definitely - I think he's done an excellent job.
"It's not easy when you have not had much experience captaining sides before to come in and captain England with all the attention that goes alongside it, and I think he dealt with that side of it very well.
"It obviously didn't affect his game, he batted exceptionally well and it further enhances his respect within the group.
"I don't think he can be faulted for anything. No one knows how long I'm going to go on for but certainly Alastair is going to be one of the names on the list and will be much better for the experience he has had now."
Strauss also rejected criticism from the likes of Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne that he should have gone on the tour.
He added: "That's their opinion but I don't share their opinion. It doesn't concern me really - certainly in Warne's case I'm quite used to being sledged by him.
"If you do something different to what's been done before there's always going to be criticism.
"I do believe just as strongly now that the benefits of me resting will be seen at a later point for the England team either during the Ashes or at the World Cup or beyond that."