Alastair Cook admits the writing had been on the wall for some time before he confirmed his retirement from international cricket.
The 33-year-old will bring his illustrious England career to an end following this week’s fifth and final Test against India.
It will be an emotional goodbye for the opening batsman, who is England’s all-time leading run scorer in Test cricket and has captained his country more than any other player.
However, Cook’s form over recent months has been on a downward spiral – he has managed just one half-century for his country this calendar year – while he is averaging just 15.57 with the bat in the current series against India.
Cook, who announced his decision to retire earlier this week, feels his game has lost some of its edge.
“Over the last six months there have been signs in my mind that this was going to happen,” Cook said. “I told Rooty (captain Joe Root) before the game (at The Ageas Bowl) and told Trevor (Bayliss) during the game.
“I have always been mentally incredibly tough and (have had) an edge to everything I have done. Everything I have found easy before wasn’t quite there and to me that was the biggest sign.”