England Test captain Joe Root hopes predecessor Alastair Cook smashes 'every record going'

AFP, Feb, 16 2017

Leeds: England's new Test captain Joe Root wants predecessor Alastair Cook to "smash every record going" now he's been freed from the responsibility of leadership.

Wednesday saw former vice-captain Root, two days on from his appointment as Cook's successor, outline his hopes for the side.

One of them was to see Cook, already England's leading Test run-scorer, rediscover his best form with the bat.

Joe Root took over as England Test captain from Alastair Cook. Reuters

Joe Root took over as England Test captain from Alastair Cook. Reuters

Cook managed seven hundreds in his first 11 Tests as skipper, but only five in his last 48.

All the nine batsmen who've scored more than Cook's 11,057 Test runs, however, including all-time record-leader Sachin Tendulkar of India (15,921 runs) have retired.

Opening batsman Cook, 32, intends to continue his England career and a delighted Root, speaking at his Headingley home ground, said: “It's going to be a great help, having that experience and advice around the dressing room.

"I think he’s looking forward to the opportunity to just go and bat, hopefully he's going to smash every record going."

'Kid's dream'

The Yorkshire batsman added: "It would be nice to see him just enjoy his batting and go on and break every record going.”

As for his leadership style, the 26-year-old Root, who said "every kid dreams of being England captain one day," added: "I like to think I'll be able to put my stamp on things and do things my way."

Root 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, the focus for England, who've lost six of their last eight Tests, 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 cited his impressive Test batting form, which includes an average of over 52 in his 53-match career, as evidence that a lack of direct leadership experience would not harm his captaincy.

"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'."

A busy year for England will see them face South Africa and the West Indies in home Test series before they begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia in November.

"I can't wait for the Ashes," said Root. "We should all be very excited about that.

"We have a great blend of experience and raw talent."

Published Date: Feb 16, 2017 | Updated Date: Feb 16, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115