Dad’s the word for Joe Root over England captaincy issue

England's Joe Root bats during the first one day international cricket match against India at the Maharashtra cricket association stadium in Pune, India, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
England's Joe Root bats during the first one day international cricket match against India at the Maharashtra cricket association stadium in Pune, India, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
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Joe Root is in no rush to assume another new position of responsibility as England’s Test captain having just become a father for the first time.

Yorkshire’s Root spent four days with his son Alfred before flying out to join the one-day squad in India and, despite missing both warm-up games and battling jetlag, was quickly back in the groove as the series got under way on Sunday.

He top-scored with 78 as England set India 351 to win but was powerless to stop Virat Kohli marshalling a brilliant chase with a 27th one-day international century in Pune.

If his schedule was not busy enough already, there has been plenty of speculation about Alastair Cook’s future as Test captain, with Root the first and only candidate to replace him should he step down.

But he insists the only discussions between the pair have been around babies, with Cook’s second child arriving last October.

“I have spoken to him but it’s all about being a dad,” said Root. “There were a couple of texts over Christmas asking how the family is. He’s been checking up to see how I’m getting on and how (partner) Carrie is. He’s been really good in that respect. The four days at home with Alfie were a very special time for the family. I’ve really enjoyed that role as ‘Dad’.”

As for the issue of captaincy and succession, the 26-year-old made it clear he is happy to continue under Cook’s guidance.

“It’s completely out of my hands, it’s a decision for Cooky to make. There’s lots of speculation about it happening soon but the next Test match isn’t until the middle of summer,” he said.

“Cooky deserves to be given some space and a bit of time to make his choice. Personally, I think he’s a great leader and it would be great to see him continue.

“I think he’s got a lot to offer the team moving forward.”

Root, though, has recent experience of being thrust into a job of life-changing proportions and that may stand him in good stead should the biggest honour in English cricket come his way soon.

“It’s one of those things you have to learn on the job,” he continued.

“I suppose the timing isn’t quite relevant but being a dad you don’t know what to do until you just sort of go with it and see how it goes,” he added.

“I imagine that it would be very similar.”