On This Day 2017 – Joe Root ‘humbled’ to become England Test captain

On this day in 2017, Joe Root described himself as “privileged, humbled and very excited” after being confirmed as England’s new Test captain.

The 26-year-old Yorkshire batter was handed the reins in the wake of Alastair Cook’s resignation after a 59-game tenure.

Root, who was averaging a little under 53 over 53 Tests at the time, was appointed ahead of home summer series against South Africa and the West Indies with an Ashes tour looming on the recommendation of the selectors and the ECB’s director of England cricket, Andrew Strauss.

With Ben Stokes as his vice-captain, vastly-experienced bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad at his disposal and coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace behind the scenes, he set out on his mission with some optimism.

Root said at the time: “We have a very good group of players, and I’m looking forward to leading them out in the summer – building on Alastair’s achievements and making the most of our talents in the years ahead.”

The new captain was appointed with England in a state of flux having lost a match for the first time to Bangladesh and suffered at the hands of India as Cook’s reign, which had taken his side to within a win of the top of the Test rankings, drew to a close.

In all, Root skippered his country in 64 Tests and collected 27 wins before stepping down in April 2022.

England's Joe Root has 28 Test centuries to his name
England’s Joe Root has 28 Test centuries to his name (John Walton/PA)

His tenure included two depressing 4-0 Ashes defeats Down Under either side of a 2-2 draw at home, but also more encouraging series wins over India and in Sri Lanka before the coronavirus pandemic intervened.

However, he called it a day in April 2022 after a decisive 10-wicket defeat in the West Indies with the pressure of the job weighing heavily on his shoulders.

He said: “I have loved leading my country, but recently it’s hit home how much of a toll it has taken on me and the impact it has had on me away from the game.”

Root, who was replaced by Stokes, continues to play for England and to date has amassed 10,629 runs at an average of 49.43 and 28 Test centuries.