Joe Root is already earmarked as a “future England captain” in the Andrew Strauss era.
New England and Wales Cricket Board director Strauss has had to make a series of tough calls on personnel, and it seems rising star Root is set to be the foundation of his vision for the team in years to come.
Strauss oversaw the sacking of coach Peter Moores within half-an-hour of his own appointment last weekend and then courted even greater controversy when he confirmed there will be no way back for maverick batsman Kevin Pietersen this Ashes summer.
Root’s elevation to vice-captain under Alastair Cook, replacing Ian Bell, barely rose above the sub-text two days ago – such was the furore over the continued exile of Pietersen because of “massive trust issues”.
England have won and drawn their last two Test series with Bell as Cook’s vice-captain, but it is Root’s upward trajectory and the qualities Strauss has spotted in the 24-year-old batsman which have been the telling factors in the switch.
Bell, nine years Root’s senior and hoping to help win the Ashes for a fifth time this summer, has been assured it is not what he has done wrong but what the younger man is doing right.
“It wasn’t about what’s happened in the two series,” said Bell, who has 108 Tests to his name.
“Now he (Strauss) sees Rooty as a future England captain, and time to start giving him responsibility. It’s a smart move. He’s got a good cricket brain.
“It will be good for him to learn a few more of the things that are going on with Cooky, so he can himself be a good England captain one day.”