Root replaces Cook as England Test captain, Stokes named his deputy

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [UK], Feb. 13 (ANI): Middle-order batsman Joe Root has been appointed as England's new Test captain, succeeding Alastair Cook. Cook had last week stepped down as England's Test captain after a record 59 matches in charge. His recent tour of the subcontinent, which included a maiden Test defeat against Bangladesh, culminated with a 0-4 loss in the five-Test series against India. And it was almost certain that Root would be given the mantle to lead the side in the longest format of the game. Last week, he met England's director of cricket Andrew Strauss and was offered the job over the weekend Root will have a full four months of preparation before England's next Test series against South Africa in July. "It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy. I feel privileged, humbled and very excited" ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying. "We have a very good group of players and I'm looking forward to leading them out in the summer, building on Alastair's achievements and making the most of our talents in the years ahead." "The senior guys in the changing room play a very influential role and whilst there's a natural progression for me it's a huge support to know that they are there to help and advise," he added. Strauss described Root as the right man to succeed Cook, saying, "Joe has shown a number of admirable qualities in his Test career so far. Making his debut in 2012 at the age of 21 and going on to establish himself as one of the premier batsmen in all forms of the game in such a short period of time demonstrates his drive, determination, cricketing intelligence and an ability to learn that will serve him well in his new role." "He is universally respected by his team-mates, passionate about driving the Test team forward and extremely excited about the prospect of leading his country. ECB chairman Colin Graves also called Root as the "perfect choice" to be England's Test captain. "Joe is a fine player and a fine person who has the respect of the players, the selectors and all at the ECB. He also has a changing room with experienced players and leaders who will support him from the start," Graves said. Root has played in 53 Test matches after making his debut in December 2012. He has 4594 runs to his name with an impressive average of 52.80. Meanwhile, all-rounder Ben Stokes was also appointed as team's vice captain. Speaking about the same, the England cricket director said the responsibility would help Stokes to continue his rapid rise as a world class all-rounder. (ANI)