Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Alastair Cook has admitted that he was blown away by the impact Joe Root had in his first Test as captain.
Root, who succeeded Cook, penned the opening chapter of his tenure as captain in the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s last week.
Not only did Root lead by example with the bat, scoring a breathtaking 190, but he also guided England to a convincing 211-run win.
“It’s always important to start well and get the monkey off your back in terms of a big score early in your captaincy career. It stops everyone talking about ‘will the captaincy affect your batting?’,” Cook said. “He’s still very new to captaincy in any kind of cricket.
“He’ll get better and better but he couldn’t have done more in that first game.
“Nothing can prepare you for it even if you’ve captained in county cricket. It’s a very big role as much off the field as on the field. Sometimes the only peace and quiet you get is out in the middle batting. It is a big role, he’s had a really good start and I’m always there if he needs a bit of support.”
Cook made scores of 3 and 69 in the first Test, but when asked how it felt to be in the side solely as a specialist batsman, the 32-year-old said: “It’s business as usual for me. I’ve been playing all season for Essex without the captaincy. Bit strange to see Joe go out to do the toss knowing I’ll never do that again, but then I saw all the interviews he had to do and I thought ‘that’s all right I’ll go and get my pads on and not worry about it’.”
Given that the Proteas suffered a heavy loss at Lord’s, Cook conceded that they will be looking to bounce back in the second Test at Trent Bridge, which begins on Friday.
Furthermore, South Africa will welcome back captain Faf du Plessis, who missed the first Test due to the “difficult” birth of his first child.
“They’ll be hurting from the first test but they’re a quality side,” Cook said. “They’ve got a very good record away from home so we’ve got to be right on it. If you’re not on it for all five days you can lose very quickly.
“He’s (Du Plessis) been instrumental over the last 12 months the way he’s taken South Africa forward, particularly the great wins in Australia. It’ll be good to see him out there.”