Alastair Cook has rejected talk he was close to quitting cricket during England's miserable Ashes series defeat in Australia.
Opener and former captain Cook struggled for runs for much of England's 4-0 defeat, 244 of his 376 coming as he carried his bat in the drawn fourth Test on the much-maligned drop-in pitch at the MCG.
No longer a fixture in limited-overs international cricket, there had been talk of Cook calling time on a career that has seen him rack up 12,005 Test runs, good for sixth on the all-time list.
He will look to move closer to Kumar Sangakkara, who is fifth with 12,400, as England face New Zealand in a two-Test series, which starts in Auckland on Thursday.
Writing ahead of that series in a column for Sky Sports, Cook said: "There has been a little bit in the papers over the last couple of days saying that I was close to quitting cricket during the Ashes - these things don't always come out right.
"I wasn't close to quitting, I was asked a question about how tough it was and it was a tough period of my career, I wasn't playing as well as I'd have liked.
"Naturally, those questions about finishing are going to be asked, they were asked and I give an honest answer - "Yes, it was it tough and you do doubt yourself" - then the headline comes up that I was ready to quit. That isn't the case.
"Yes, it is tough and you go through dark moments but a lot of people who have played a lot of cricket go through those periods.
"During those times you've got to trust yourself a bit and draw a bit of confidence from the fact that over 150 Test matches - and without wanting to sound arrogant - I've done it a few times and scored runs at the highest level.
"Knowing that you have that record behind you is crucial and you have to try not to panic too much. Like most things, when you're playing badly, things often aren't as bad as you think and when you're playing well, you're probably not as good as everyone says you are.
"There is always that happy medium, I've always kept myself somewhere in the middle. I just try to stay calm, trust my ability and try to keep doing the right things. You can't search for the magic answer because there isn't one, it is a combination of a lot of things - stay true to yourself and trust yourself.
"Clearly when it is tough, you can doubt yourself a lot but it is putting those thoughts as far as you can to the back of your mind and concentrate on the important thing, which is the next ball coming down, and just trying to get in.
"That's batting, and at the top of the order against world-class players getting through the new ball can be quite hard work but I've done it in the past and hopefully I'll do it again in the future."
|Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister after four seasons|
|Inter captain Icardi can improve - Spalletti|
|Jadeja and Rohit shine as India maintain 100 per cent record|
|Fisher shares lead in Vilamoura after record-breaking 59|
|Messi the best I´ve seen - Lamela|
|Silva demands end to Gomes ´rumours´ and targets early October return|
|Milner over Pogba, says Souness|
|Brazil call up Malcom, drop Thiago Silva and Willian|
|Denly thought Test chance may never come|
|Benitez tells FA to examine Zaha red card comments|
|Bjorn unsure of future after Ryder Cup|
|Tebas still optimistic over Girona-Barcelona in Miami despite RFEF setback|
|Emery promises more chances for frustrated Leno|
|Cahill considering Chelsea departure in January|
|Kaepernick to receive Harvard´s highest honour in African, African-American studies|
|Defending champion Ostapenko dumped out of Korea Open|
|Mourinho is an inspiration - Nuno|
|Witty Wilson ´delighted´ to be praised for Fisher heroics while sitting on couch|
|Burns, Denly and Stone in England squad for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Aspas reveals interest from Real Madrid, Atletico|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan a doubt for Everton match|
|Klopp demands Liverpool ´stay angry´ against Southampton|
|Long-serving Tabarez signs four-year Uruguay extension|
|Injured Mendy ruled out of Cardiff trip|
|Douglas Costa out up to a month with ankle & thigh injuries|
|Slater shrugs off Feki hit amid Grand Final suspension concerns|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp unconcerned by Salah form|
|I didn´t convince him, he decided for himself - Guardiola says thanks to Aguero|
|Leno frustrated by Arsenal bench role|
|Joshua almost 2st heavier than Povetkin for Wembley bout|
|From salvation to the record books - Fisher revels in European Tour´s first 59|
|Lahm says Germany best for Euro 2024 as UEFA publishes report|
|Lopetegui backs Modric over Ronaldo for individual prizes|
|Goretzka to start against former club Schalke, confirms Kovac|
|Fisher shoots first 59 in European Tour history|
|Simeone defends Ronaldo after controversial Champions League red|
|Slater sees Storm into Grand Final, awaits fate over ´shoulder charge´|
|Hogg to miss Scotland´s November Tests following ankle surgery|
|Osaka through as Azarenka and Garcia crash out|
|Burgess weighing up legal options after being cleared in Rabbitohs investigation|
|Uncapped Cottrell and Gordon named in Wallabies squad|
|He´s done fantastic work - Mourinho hails Wolves boss Nuno|
|Joshua v Povetkin: No need for fireworks on AJ´s Wembley return|
|Six titles, 204 goals - Aguero´s incredible City career in Opta stats|
|Read to miss Argentina clash, Ioane brothers sign new deals|
|Pedro allays injury fears after Europa League clash|
|Dilly dilly to all the Cleveland fans! Mayfield promises further Browns success|
|Manchester United ´hell´ left Zaha depressed|
|Jackson hesitates in naming Mayfield as Browns´ starting QB|
|LeBron congratulates Browns for ending 635-day winless streak|
|Aguero Extension: 10 of the best goals from the Manchester City star|
|Aguero signs City contract extension until 2021|
|Stress from drink-driving charge may have contributed to Lloris injury – Pochettino|
|CBF backs Cruzeiro´s Dede appeal and suggests VAR investigation|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Red Sox clinch AL East with win over Yankees|
|Brighton star Knockaert reveals battle with depression|
|Bud Light beer fridges open after Browns snap 19-game winless streak|
|Browns end 635-day drought with first win since 2016 after downing Jets|
|Blue Jays overturn 8-2 deficit in improbable ninth-inning comeback|
|Colo Colo 0 Palmeiras 2: Scolari´s men poised for Libertadores SFs|
|Tour Championship would enhance successful year, says Tiger|
|Pogba: Man United getting better after winning run|
|What bothers me is that he has time to even do that – LeBron responds to Trump tweet|
|Cowboys most valuable NFL team for 12th successive year|
|Mkhitaryan aiming for glory with Europa specialist Emery|
|Sarri: Pedro´s injury is not too serious|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Drama in Minnesota, a Judge returns and tragedy in Iowa|
|Tottenham will overcome rough patch – Lamela|
|Torreira impresses for Arsenal but leaves with knock|