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Root out to emulate captaincy form

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/03/2017 Ian McCullough

Newly-appointed England skipper Joe Root believes the red-hot form of other international captains proves leadership shouldn't be a burden to batting.

Australian Steve Smith consolidated his spot as the world's No.1 batsman following a brilliant campaign in India where he chalked up 499 runs and three centuries, albeit in a losing cause.

Root and Smith have chopped and changed at the top of the ICC Test batting rankings for much of the last two-and-a-half years.

However, the Australian is now the undoubted top dog, clocking up a staggering 12 tons in 24 Tests as captain since first leading the side when deputising for an injured Michael Clarke in late 2014.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson and India's Virat Kohli have also flourished with the bat following their captaincy appointments, and Root, who'll lead England to Australia in October, is confident he can do the same.

"I look at guys in a similar position to me and the number of games they've played; Williamson, Smith and Kohli," Root told BBC Five Live.

"They've taken on the captaincy and their games have gone up a level. I like to think that I am in that sort of place in my game.

"I think the responsibility and this position gives me an opportunity to do that."

Root, 26, will get his first taste of life as skipper when England host a four-match series against South Africa in July, followed by three Tests against the West Indies.

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