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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Inspired by Kohli and Smith, Root determined to do things his way

Inspired by Kohli and Smith, Root determined to do things his way

February 16, 2017 11:05 IST

England's new Test captain Joe Root said he will try to put his "own stamp" on the team, but will seek advice from former skipper Alastair Cook and the other senior players whenever he needs to.

England Test captain Joe Root poses for a portrait during a Press Conference, at Headingley in Leeds on WednesdayRoot described his elevation to Test skipper as a natural progression and said he was excited by the challenges that lay ahead.

"It feels amazing," he told Sky Sports on Wednesday.

"I think as a young kid when you're growing up you always aspire to be England captain. It's sort of the pinnacle of the Test arena isn't it?"

Asked about how his relationship with Cook -- who resigned last week -- would work, Root told the BBC that he was not afraid to ask for help.

"It would be silly not to take advice from Alastair and the other senior players, but I will want to do things my way as well," he added.

"You shouldn't be scared of asking for help, but I would also like to think I can put my stamp on it."

The 26-year-old said Cook had been in touch to congratulate him on his appointment and that the former skipper would continue to play a key role in the dressing room.

"We've exchanged a few text messages," Root said.

"He's tried to let me have a bit of space for now but I think we'll definitely be in contact over the next few days.

"One thing that Cookie will naturally do is let me go about things my way. He's a very respectful bloke."

Root also dismissed concerns that a lack of leadership experience might hamper him in his new role. He has previously captained Yorkshire for four first-class matches, but has served as England's vice-captain for the past 18 months.

"I think I've played 50-odd Test matches now," he added.

"The experience in that arena counts for a lot. I think it's very different cricket, Test cricket to county championship cricket.

"Over the last couple of years I've had the added responsibility of the vice-captaincy.

"For a while now, I'd like to think that even though I haven't been captain I've been trying to think like a captain as much as possible to try and help Cookie out."

Root also said he hopes becoming a Test captain will take his batting to the "next level", just as it's done for India's Virat Kohli and Australia's Steve Smith.

The Yorkshireman already boasts an impressive batting average of nearly 53 in his 53 Tests to date.

Yet Kohli averages over 67 as captain of the India side now top of the world Test rankings compared to a shade above 41 when a player in the ranks.

The corresponding figures for Smith are equally stark, at 71 and 53 respectively.

"That excites me," said Root at his Headingley home ground on Wednesday.

"It's a great motivator to make sure I do everything I can to get my batting in the best place possible and set the example for the rest of the guys in the team."

Root added: "You look at other guys who've taken similar roles like Virat and Steve Smith and they've gone on to bigger and better things and taken their game to the next level. I don't see why I can't look at it in the same light.

"It's a great opportunity to take that added responsibility and really motivate me to get better. Every kid dreams of being England captain one day... I'm just really looking forward to getting my teeth into it and putting my mark on things."

Image: England Test captain Joe Root poses for a portrait during a Press Conference, at Headingley in Leeds on Wednesday

Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images