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England batsman Joe Root has made it clear that he has no intentions of succeeding Alastair Cook as captain at the moment and is instead focused on the upcoming tour of South Africa.
Root currently holds the position of vice-captain and is set to replace Cook as captain once the latter steps down or retires.
But, Root insisted that his main aim as of now is to build on the 1,288 Test runs he has scored this year in the forthcoming four-Test series against the Proteas, which will begin in Durban on Boxing Day.
“It’s not something I’m thinking about to be honest,” Root told Sky Sports. “I’m happy with what I’m doing at the moment.
“Further down the line who knows what’s going to happen, but for me it’s about concentrating on this tour, trying to get as many runs as possible and assisting Cooky whenever available.”
Root also revealed that Cook continues to set the benchmark for all the other players as he is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket this year with 1,357 runs to his name at an average of 59.
“He sets the benchmark for everyone to follow and to see him scoring the runs he has this year has been phenomenal,” Root said. “He’s the leading Test run-scorer in the world in 2015 and now England’s leading Test run-scorer of all time so you don’t get there without serious scores. Hopefully he can kick on and have a really successful tour of South Africa.”
The 24-year-old added that it would be a grave mistake to underestimate South Africa following their 3-0 loss to India, which marked the end of their nine-year undefeated streak away from home.
“We know how strong they are and we won’t take them lightly, but we’re an exciting side ourselves,” Root said. “We’ve played some really strong cricket throughout the year and hopefully we can that into the series.
“There’s a reason why they’re No 1 in the world, because they take 20 wickets a lot and they win Test matches. Of course we’re going to have to bat well as a side, but I’m also looking forward to seeing our attack bowl in those conditions as well. It should be a really entertaining spectacle.”