Joe Root: Natural cricketer has a huge job as captain - Jonathan Agnew

Joe Root
Joe Root scored 1,477 Test runs in 2016, including a career-best 254 against Pakistan in July

There is no other job in major sport like a cricket captain. It is a huge job.

Joe Root thinks a lot about cricket. He is a natural cricketer and that is where captaincy comes into it. The most important thing for him is to get a good start.

It's not going to be easy and I hope people give him time. You get judged very quickly these days. People have got to be patient and understand this is a long-term appointment.

He's starting from a team that took a bit of a mauling in India. He has to come back and he has just a short time to get them ready for the Ashes. There's a lot going on.

He will be very excited about it and very proud when he walks down those steps for the first time, leading his team out. It will be fantastic - but there will be obviously some uncertainty about how things go.

He'll have a lot of help with Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad and James Anderson out there, but ultimately it's your responsibility. It needs to start well, otherwise you inevitably start to question yourself and so on.

I think he will be more adventurous than Cook. He is that sort of person: a bit of a jack-the-lad, a playful character, an impersonator. All that will have to change now in the dressing room. He will still have a bit of a laugh with his team-mates but there is now a bit of water between you and them.

They all respect him immensely as a batsman but now he's got to win the bowlers over and convince them he knows what he's doing in terms of bowling changes and field settings, all that sort of business.

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Joe Root announced as England Test captain

Will being captain affect how he plays?

It's impossible to say if the captaincy will affect his batting. We saw Root have a hard time in Australia in 2013-14 and he ended up being dropped for the final Test in Sydney. He hasn't looked back since then.

Anybody can have a dip in form. When you are captain at the same time, that's when it gets difficult and when your own game starts to decay because you have other worries and pressures.

It will be a more standardised England formula in the summer. I would hope he would bat at four and I wasn't happy with him batting at three. I would have thought it would be Cook, Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings at three. Jennings looks a natural three to me and it gives England a left-hand-right-hand opening combination.

How does he manage England's bowlers?

As a batting captain, you do have to earn bowlers' trust, especially when it comes to fields. I think Anderson and Broad can both be a little bit defensive at times with their field settings and I thought Cook allowed them to be.

They often fall back into defensive mode - and that's OK - but there are times when you have to attack: have a gully in rather than a backward point and so on. I would hope that Root will stamp his authority on them and say: "No actually, we're going to have a man there, catching, if he's just come in."

It's important he establishes who is boss, but you obviously want the bowlers to work for you. They all know him and like him, he is a very popular member of the team - so they will all work for him. Anderson and Broad have had their injury concerns and they both want to keep playing for as long as they can.

It's important for the captain to assert himself, particularly over experienced bowlers, and explain why he's making a decision - but at the same time making bowlers think for themselves. That is what makes a good bowler. The bowler is doing a lot of the thinking and the planning, then executing those plans.

For someone more inexperienced, like Moeen Ali, it is different. Moeen comes on quite relaxed and bowls well for his opening over, but he is not as consistent as I'm sure he would like to be. Root will decide if you give him some cover or defensive positions just to get him settled down and into a rhythm.

What sort of vice-captain will Stokes be?

Ben Stokes and Joe Root
Root, who was vice-captain to Cook, now has Ben Stokes to turn to on the field

Having Ben Stokes as vice-captain is good for both players. Stokes is a lively character, a real in-your-face cricketer. Vice-captains are rather good like that if you have a more mellow captain. With Stokes you want someone a bit like a sergeant major, to fire up everyone. I hope it'll lift his game too. I think he and Root will be quite an exciting combination.

Captains like India's Virat Kohli and New Zealand's Kane Williamson have taken to the job without any experience and that is what players are expected to do now. People are still going to have to be patient.

Joe is going to have to learn and he's going to have to talk to people. I think perhaps modern-day captains aren't as imaginative as those brought up playing three-day county cricket, where you had to really create matches and really work bowling to set matches up and win from difficult positions.

There's an awful lot Root could learn from driving a little way up the M1 for an hour and speaking to Ray Illingworth. That would be brilliant. Go back a bit, talk to some of the old fellas who were captains! You never stop learning in this game.

How big a test will the summer be?

The odds are it is going to be a difficult summer for Root. First England face South Africa, who are the third-ranked Test team in the world. They have just beaten up Australia in Australia and they are not coming over here to give England a nice, easy time.

People will immediately start saying the captaincy is affecting his form. That puts him even more on the back foot - and these things can spiral.

I would suspect that potentially a bit of a tricky series is the West Indies series. Everyone will be expecting England to win handsomely. South Africa will be very tough and we know that - but the West Indies shouldn't be.

They should be dealt with easily by England in our conditions. That's the series that he mustn't slip up in otherwise, before the Ashes and everything else, that's when people might start talking.

It's a potential area where he needs to get through and not give anybody any opportunity to suggest the captaincy is in any way affecting his batting.