England star Joe Root was named England Test captain this week saying it was an honour and “humbling” to take full control of the five-day team.
He took over from Alastair Cook who resigned following defeat in India, a man who will be remembered as one of the greatest England captains of all-time.
Cook ended his captaincy with 24 wins, 13 draws and 22 defeats in his 59 Tests a win-percentage only bettered by Michael Vaughan when it comes to the past five England skippers.
As you can see here, that includes Andrew Strauss (W24, D15, L11), Kevin Pietersen (W1, D1, L1), Andrew Flintoff (W2, D2, L7) and lastly Vaughan (W26, D14, L11).
Who do you think was the better captain out of the past five and will Joe Root manage to better these records?
Spinner Poonam Yadav took five wickets for 19 runs as India registered a comfortable victory over Zimbabwe in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier on Monday.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat, but after losing opener Modester Mupachikwa in the first over of the game, they struggled to keep up with a far superior Indian side.
Zimbabwe were bowled out for just 60 with four players getting out for a duck and only two players getting to double digits.
In reply, India cruised to victory in nine overs – losing only the wicket of Veda Krishnamurthy for 29 off 16 deliveries.
With this win, India ended the league stage with four wins from four matches, which means they will start the Super Six stage with a huge advantage.
The Super Six format works such that points are carried over from the league stage and with India having beaten the other two qualifiers from Group A – Sri Lanka and Ireland – they will start the Super Six stage with four points.
South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh have qualified for the Super Six stage from Group B. The top four teams at the end of the round will qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 and the ICC Women’s Championship.
Zimbabwe 60 all out, 28.5 overs [Mary-Anne Musonda 26, Poonam 5/19, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/18] lost to India 61/1, 9 overs [Krishnamurthy 29, Mona Meshram 21*, Precious Marange 1/21] by nine wickets.
England cricket entered the next phase of its bold new era Monday with the appointment of Joe Root as captain.
The best player in their ranks, at 26 years of age, now has the chance to take on South Africa and West Indies on home soil before an Ashes series this winter that will be the litmus test of his own credentials, as well as where his England side sits in world cricket.
But Root should not, by then, be judged by results. Instead, it is the manner in which England are playing that should be his benchmark.
Currently, after a chastening tour of India and Bangladesh that saw Alastair Cook’s 59 Test and four -year reign come to an end, England are a team bursting with talent but inexperienced and without balance.
They are fourth in the ICC Test rankings, a little flattering considering England’s humbling at the hands of India and that Pakistan, in sixth, held them at home last summer when they moved top of the world list.
Cook was right to step aside and Root is the obvious choice to take England forward considering his ability and stature in the side, which carries great respect in the dressing room and promises a change in protocol.
Doubters will point to his lack of leadership outside of the England setup, but for a man that has been out of county cricket since making his debut in 2012 and was named vice-captain in 2015, the correct steps have been made in his ascent.
There was no better mentor than Cook, who will be remembered as one of England’s greatest captains, but Root should mould England in his own image, or at least a similar one.
For a blueprint, Root need look no further than the men his name is constantly linked to: Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson.
The trio are undoubtedly products of the modern game, their names churned together in constant comparison, and for England to catch up with the rest of the world in Test cricket they needed to take heed from their rivals.
Kohli usurped MS Dhoni, Smith replaced Michael Clarke and Williamson took over from Brendon McCullum.
Like Root replacing Cook, those succession plans were vital in this age of Test cricket 2.0 which, at times, looks like it is being played in fast forward.
Many believed that their weight of runs would be impeded by the extra responsibility but those naysayers underestimate the strength in character and love for the fight of these young men.
They have each embraced captaincy, thriving on it; Root has the same composure, aggression and self belief of his contemporaries that suggests the future is bright for England.
Kohli is a prime example in the Test sphere as to how such a personality and talent can inspire those around him, in both getting the best out of himself and his charges.
Root can also look a lot closer to home for an example of how to mould a side and that England, so often the traditionalists, can lead the revolution by getting in the ear of Eoin Morgan – who has transformed England’s one-day side.
While Morgan’s influence was felt almost overnight, Root’s may take a little more time. But he is lucky enough to blessed with a squad of players as familiar as they are capable of instigating England’s latest redesign.
Under Root it should be a colourful one.