The one thing for me that stands out with Joe Root’s appointment as England captain is the fantastic work being done by director of cricket Andrew Strauss.
When Alistair Cook stepped down, we all knew it was going to be Root and some people have questioned why it took a little time to confirm his appointment.
Yes you could have just rolled Root out straightaway, but for me Strauss did it in the completely right way.
I will never have too much of a go at Andrew Strauss, when that job came up he was the ultimate choice to do it – you have to work the process and go through it, Strauss had to talk to people which is what he did with Root, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes.
He wanted to understand the current people, what the opinions were and although it was always going to be Joe, Andrew wanted to find out things from other people and talk over other roles within the group and don’t forget he was probably passing on his own experiences too, perhaps too Broad and Stokes, passing on what Joe would need going forward – wanting them to be ready too if they were needed.
He will want Stokes and Broad to be backing him and for me it was great management by Strauss, it was not a box ticking exercise it was Andrew’s way of doing it and using his own experience of leadership, and he was a great leader, working out what was needed and then putting that point across.
“He is showing how good he is at it, for me I would give it to him for life”
The job is perfect for Strauss and he is showing how good he is at it, for me I would give it to him for life – his understanding of the game, his understanding of the people – his leadership quality and skills, as well as his decisions processes is what the ECB needed and what they have needed for a long time – England cricket will only get better with Andrew Strauss in that job.
Strauss will also be involved in the decisions about whether Root will be taking on the captaincy in every format but I think it might help doing what he is doing just being test captain.
He can work well with Eoin Morgan, they are not going to conflict as Morgan will never play in Root’s test team and Root has played under Morgan for a while now, so knows how he operates.
You don’t need the same captain in all formats and it will be a good break for him, every time the white ball comes out he can concentrate on the batting and let someone else concentrate on the other thing – there is a hell of the lot that comes with being England captain, you only had to listen to Alistair Cook talk recently there is politics and so much more behind the scenes.
That is also why having Ben Stokes is important to Root. I would have bowling vice captains and they have that now in Stokes as he is as good with the bowl as he is with the bat, maybe the age thing went against Stuart Broad.
But Root will need those around him. As a football captain, it is simple you put an armband on a lead by example – cricket is different you can be judged on those decisions.
In football it would come down to a manager, and in that world you have good coaches, assistants – someone he can take advice off, and that is where Root will be looking at Stokes, Cook – and on the bowling side Broad and Anderson, they will all be big people in Joe Root’s life – he will lead and be captain, but he will have to trust these people going forward as ultimately it is him who is taking these decisions, so it is a good choice in Stokes.
It will be a fun time between the two of them, they enjoy each other’s company and have a good time on and off the field, so that is crucial that they can be honest in each other’s company, trust each other and almost the most important thing is that they can be relaxed with each other – I believe the ECB have made a great appointment.
The most important thing for Joe Root is not captaincy, the most important thing for England is Joe Root scoring runs, if he does that they are a good side and have a chance of winning and if he is scoring runs, his confidence will be high and that naturally makes his life easier as captain.