Root expected to be appointed England’s Test captain

Joe Root is understood to have been interviewed by England’s Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss on Thursday for the job of England Test captain.

Earlier this week, Strauss confirmed that a likely announcement on Alastair Cook’s successor will be made before the end of next week and Yorkshire’s 26 year-old Root is almost certain to be named as captain with Ben Stokes thought close to being named as his deputy.

The Durham all-rounder Stokes has also met with Strauss this week as did Stuart Broad, who gave his thoughts on how England can improve in the Test arena after some middling results over the past six months. It is not thought that Broad is in the running for a formal leadership role.

The decision as to who the new captain is, will be made by Strauss, coach Trevor Bayliss and National Selector James Whitaker, but all are thought to be in favour of Root taking the job ahead of a tough year of Test cricket which includes an away Ashes series.

Earlier this week, Strauss said: “Joe has leadership experience and is a phenomenal cricketer and an influential figure in the dressing room, and there is no reason why he wouldn’t be a strong candidate. But I don’t want to rule anyone out or in at this stage.

“There are conversations that need to take place, both between myself and the selectors and the coach, but also among some of the senior players to make sure I understand how best to take the team forward so that when we announce the captain, he is the right man for the job.”

Despite having captained in only four first-class matches in his career, it is thought that Root, vice-captain since 2015, will bring a more dynamic and aggressive attitude to England’s Test team, in contrast to the more conservative approach of Cook. Australian Bayliss is understood to want England to play a more attacking brand of Test cricket.

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who coached Root at Yorkshire, and Cook have both spoken this week of Root’s qualities, the outgoing England captain describing him as “the most likely candidate.” It would be a major shock should the world’s number three ranked Test batsman not lead the Test team during their next Test assignment, a four-Test series in July against South Africa.


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