Root named England Test cricket team captain

London: Batting mainstay Joe Root was elevated as the captain of England's Test cricket team on Monday, succeeding Alastair Cook. All-rounder Ben Stokes has taken Root's former position as vice-captain.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that chairman Colin Graves approved the appointments on Sunday evening following the recommendation of the selectors under the guidance of Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss.

"After Cook stepped down from the role last week, Strauss consulted key members of the team and coaching staff and -- with head coach Trevor Bayliss -- held in-depth conversations with three players before the selectors made their final decision," ECB said in a statement.

"Joe Root is the perfect choice for England Test captain. I'm delighted that he has accepted the role and will now help to take the team to the next level," Graves said.

"When I spoke to him last night you could feel the excitement and sense the pride -- he can't wait to get started. Joe is a fine player and a fine person who has the respect of the players, the selectors and all at the ECB," he added.

"He also has a changing room with experienced players and leaders who will support him from the start."

Root made his Test debut in December 2012 and was named vice-captain to Cook in summer 2015. He scored the first of his eleven Test centuries at Headingley in May 2013 and currently has a total of 4,594 Test runs at an average of 52.80, placing him third in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.

Root will take charge for the first time against South Africa at Lord's in July. "It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy. I feel privileged, humbled and very excited," said the 26-year-old, who has been named 80th Test team captain of England.

"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 senior guys in the changing room play a very influential role and whilst there's a natural progression for me it's a huge support to know that they are there to help and advise."

Strauss also had words for new vice-captain Stokes, who "has real presence and influence within the team environment that serve as a great source of support" for Root.

"I have no doubts that the responsibility will also help Ben to continue his rapid rise as a world class all-rounder," the former captain said.(IANS)