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Root vows to do things ‘his way’

Cricket
Thu, 16 Feb 2017


Leeds, UK: Joe Root insisted he would captain England “his way” as he gave his first insight into how he would lead the Test side.

Two days on from being named as the successor to former England Test skipper Alastair Cook, Yorkshire batsman Root outlined his approach when speaking to reporters at his Headingley home ground on Wednesday.

“I don’t think you should be scared of asking for help on occasions but for the most part I like to think I’ll be able to put my stamp on things and do things my way,” Root said.

The 26-year-old Root, previously vice-captain to Cook, has little senior captaincy experience, with just a handful of matches as stand-in Yorkshire skipper behind him.

But he has plenty of time to ease himself into his new role as England’s next Test is not until their July series opener against South Africa at Lord’s.

For the time being, their focus is on limited overs cricket, particularly June’s 50-over Champions Trophy tournament on home soil.

Root is a senior batsman in all formats for England but Eoin Morgan will remain the side’s captain in white-ball cricket

“I think the beauty of the position right now is I have plenty of time to think about that,” said Root.

“I’d like to think I’d be quite instinctive, I want us to always look to win and I want us to be a tough side to play against.

“I think it would be silly of me not to speak to people who have been in the position before... like Cooky, Straussy (England director of cricket Andrew Strauss, Cook’s predecessor as captain).”

Root, who in common with 2005 Ashes-winning skipper Michael Vaughan played for the Sheffield Collegiate club, added: “I’ve obviously known Michael Vaughan for a long time and maybe a few people away from cricket to get a different perspective on things.”

As for his lack of leadership experience, Root – who has an impressive batting average of over 52 in his 53-Test career – said: “I didn’t have much county experience before I got onto the Test team and I managed to find a way to be successful in that environment.

“I’ve got a lot of experience now with 50-odd games under my belt and I’d like to think for the past few years I have started to think as a captain in my own mind, so if Cooky ever needed help or advice or the bowlers came up to me and asked what I thought then I was switched on enough to think ‘this is what I’d do’.”

Cook resigned following a 4-0 series reverse in India that crowned a difficult 2016 for England that saw them lose eight Tests in all.

But Root believed England, who after home series against South Africa and the West Indies begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia in November, were on the cusp of great things.

“There’s a core group of players that have played 20-30 games, I think it’s the right time for them to take a bit more responsibility and become slightly more consistent.”

Root said he had been offered the England captaincy while looking after his five-week-old son.

“On Sunday afternoon I had just taken Alfie for nappy changing and I got a nice call from Andrew (Strauss) saying ‘this is the one call you get in your life... we’d like you to take the role’,” he said.

“I immediately accepted it. It was dad’s birthday weekend and I went down for Sunday dinner with the family. It was a special time in our family life.”

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