India vs England 5th Test Kennington Oval: As Alastair Cook gets ready to play his final Test at Oval, he has admitted to the biggest regret of his cricketing career. Cook in an interview to Dailymail admits that the handling of the Kevin Pietersen sacking is his biggest regret.

In 2012, Pietersen was handed a suspension for the third Test against South Africa after he sent texts to members of the opposition side – criticising the then captain Andrew Strauss.

Pietersen was later drafted back to the squad, but his recall caused division and was dropped two years later.

‘Of course there are decisions in hindsight that you question,’ he said.

‘Clearly the KP affair was a tough year, there’s no doubt about that. The fall-out of that wasn’t great for English cricket and wasn’t great for me.

‘I was involved in that decision without being the bloke who actually made the final call. The fall-out of that decision and the effect it had for 12 months was…’

‘It could have been handled differently,’ he carried on.

‘The moment Andrew Strauss (as a selector) came on board and said he was making the decision (to leave Pietersen out) was the best thing that could have happened for me.

‘I do have regrets over it. The Sri Lankan series that year (which England lost) and Lord’s (defeat in the first Test against India later that summer in 2014), that was the lowest I was.

‘It was really tough but I didn’t throw the towel in. I still thought I was the best man for the job and the right one to be captain at that time.

‘But it wasn’t easy. I could have taken the easy option but I didn’t.

‘And I got the reward — no, that sounds selfish, the team did — of winning the 2015 Ashes. That was brilliant.’