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Kohli and Smith inspire new captain Root

Friday, February 17, 2017

Leeds: Joe Root 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.

Root was confirmed as England's new Test skipper, following Alastair Cook's resignation, despite the likes of former Test spinner Graeme Swann saying it could adversely affect his batting.

The 26-year-old 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.

"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."

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