The Yorkshire opener is in line to make his full England debut at the top of the order alongside Cook in the Caribbean although – much to the frustration of the team management – more attention continues to be thrown on one man who will not be on the tour; namely, Kevin Pietersen.
Ahead of the squad flying out from Gatwick Airport today, head coach Peter Moores and Cook last night insisted England must focus solely on the three-Test matches immediately ahead of them before they return home for a two-match series with New Zealand and then the eagerly anticipated Ashes renewal with Australia.
England cricket’s new chairman Colin Graves – who left Yorkshire last week – has refused to rule out a Test return for Pietersen, who has been frozen out of the national set-up for more than a year.
But coach Moores refused to consider the South Africa-born batsman’s credentials ahead of the West Indies tour, however, despite Pietersen signing a new deal with Surrey in order to prove himself as a run-scorer at county level once more.
It was a position backed by Cook, who said the players who had been picked for the tour deserved more attention.
“I was with Adam (Lyth) when he got his phone call in Dubai, and it was such a refreshing thing to see,” said Cook.
“Adam, a gritty Yorkshireman, was in tears talking to his mum.
“To be standing in the airport in his England suit for the first time, he’ll remember this forever.
“We’ve got our first team meeting in half an hour and that’s what we’ll want to talk about.
“To be honest with you, contrary to a lot of what guys read in the media, I’m a long way from that decision (about a potential recall for Pietersen).
“We’ve got these 16 guys going to the West Indies who are desperate to turn around England cricket.”
Moores said he would leave any long-term decisions on Pietersen’s future to England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Graves.
“That’s not my decision, I’ve got enough decisions to make,” said Moore.
“It’s not about me getting personal, it’s about the focus on the England team.
“The frustration for me is that people whose dreams are being made by going on this tour aren’t being mentioned.
“They are not getting any air time and it’s frustrating. We’ve got some very, very good players.
“That’s very exciting. I understand Kevin’s a huge subject, but I don’t think we can be drawn into that.
“We’ve got to be completely focused on what’s ahead of us.”
Moores brushed off any lingering problems between himself and Cook, after the Test captain had bemoaned being dropped for the one-day World Cup.
“We can look back at everything and me and Cooky have spoken a lot all the way through,” said Moores.
“Alastair was disappointed not to be involved but we’ve got to look forward now.”
Graves’s arrival has sparked a regime change at the top of the ECB, leading to uncertainty surrounding Moores’s long-term future.
The coach himself has rejected the suggestion he must lead England to a series victory to keep hold of his job.
“It doesn’t work like that,” said Moores. “We all know we’re in a results business. I’m just focusing on what’s in front of us.
“From my point of view it’s not about the coach, it’s about the players.
“It’s about winning.”
Kevin Pietersen is not “on the radar” for a Test recall, according to England coach Peter Moores.
Boss Moores insisted England must focus on their three-Test battle in the West Indies, as the squad prepared to jet out to the Caribbean from Gatwick Airport today.
England cricket’s new chairman Colin Graves has refused to rule out a Test return for Pietersen, who has been frozen out of the national set-up for more than a year.