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."
|Seahawks secure dominant win over Vikings|
|Iniesta visits Messi and former club Barcelona|
|Drake makes plea for ball thrown into stands after Miami miracle|
|´Toughest pretty boy I´ve ever met´ - Langer dismisses Paine concerns|
|Van Dijk says Liverpool can challenge for double ahead of Napoli decider|
|Hazard: I´ve always loved Real Madrid|
|Yankees interested in Machado, not Harper - Cashman|
|Warriors´ Curry believes moon landing was faked|
|76ers star Butler suffers strained groin|
|Brady: Patriots still have a lot of football to play|
|´No one died´ - Belichick´s message to Patriots after stunning loss|
|Silva lauds Digne after stunning free-kick|
|Aduriz joins Messi, Ramos in LaLiga history books|
|We have a plan - Ravens coach Harbaugh prepared for Flacco return|
|´It´s difficult to accept´ - Gracia calls for introduction of VAR|
|LaLiga press on with overseas match plan despite Barcelona withdrawal|
|PSG open Coupe de France defence at fifth-tier Pontivy|
|Hazard backs Sterling as Neville reveals England star´s Euro 2016 concerns|
|Everton 2 Watford 2: Digne salvages draw with 96th-minute free-kick|
|Barcelona could ´steal´ Kane, says Pochettino|
|Oakland Raiders fire general manager McKenzie|
|Struggling Villarreal appoint Garcia Plaza as Calleja successor|
|Warriors assign Cousins to G League team|
|Barcelona pull out of plan to play LaLiga game in Miami|
|Pochettino to keep an eye on Inter when Spurs face Barcelona|
|Pochettino confirms Walker-Peters set to start against Barcelona|
|Denver Nuggets add free agent Young|
|Topping Group A no magic wand for an easy knockout draw, says Simeone|
|The cake has been made, now we need the cherry - Ancelotti targets repeat at Anfield|
|Lloris braced to face ´one of the best in history´ in Messi|
|Tuchel expects Neymar to face Red Star|
|Foden signs Manchester City deal to 2024|
|It happened to me! - Valverde laughs off Dembele timekeeping|
|´Projecting´ an Argentina return? Messi met with AFA president and Scaloni|
|Erasmus expects to leave head coach role after World Cup|
|Chelsea issue suspensions pending investigation into Sterling incident|
|Kane is extraordinary – Valverde hails reported Barcelona target|
|Man behind Naomi Osaka´s rise wins WTA Coach of the Year|
|England name unchanged Test squad as Willey returns for West Indies ODIs|
|Spalletti: No issue with Icardi watching Superclasico in Madrid|
|Klopp confirms 2013 talks with ´chatty´ Napoli president De Laurentiis|
|Sri Lanka spinner Dananjaya suspended due to illegal action|
|His reaction was just brilliant – Klopp praises Sterling for response to abuse|
|Gomez renewal a ´smart decision´ for both parties – Klopp|
|Magnificent Molinari named European Golfer of the Year|
|Barcelona best option for Frenkie de Jong, insists midfielder´s father|
|Gronkowski on Miami Miracle: ´Got to make that tackle´|
|Tottenham youngster Walker-Peters signs on until 2023|
|Juventus ´more of a family´ than Real Madrid - Ronaldo|
|Kingsley Coman contemplates retirement if injury nightmare continues|
|McVay ´sick´ over offensive failings as Rams coach takes blame for loss|
|Calleja axed as Villarreal coach|
|Kenyan Drake on Miami Miracle: I couldn´t let Gronk tackle me!|
|Ronaldo: I deserved Ballon d´Or, the numbers don´t lie|
|Rugby Australia to make Cheika decision this month|
|England defender Gomez signs new Liverpool deal|
|Ronaldo wants to see Messi follow him to Italy|
|Neymar happy to play in any position for PSG - Draxler|
|Paine insists he is ´fine´ after taking blow to finger|
|Ponzio: River players will be ´idolised´ for Libertadores success|
|Champions League permutations: How Inter, PSG and Liverpool can progress|
|Kohli: India were better and deserved to win|
|Bears shut down Goff, Rams|
|India survive dramatic finish against Australia|
|Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli|
|Saints clinch back-to-back NFC South titles, Bears trump Rams|
|Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto|
|Black Caps include Patel for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Maidana: River want Real Madrid clash|
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|