5 takeaways from Joe Root's first captaincy stint
England's drubbing of South Africa in the recent Test series reflected their dominance at home and their overall team strength.
The home team found several match winners on their journey to a 3-1 series and it was also a special triumph for Joe Root, who captained England for the first time in Tests.
In his maiden captaincy assignment Root displayed hints of an efficient captain and was highly successful with his planning and execution of strategies.
Root's success as the leader of the team will rejuvenate England, who are going through a transition phase in their Test team. After this thumping Test series win, Root has effectively put to rest the question of Aliaster Cook's successor.
Here are the top five-takeaways from Root's first captaincy stint.
#5 Effect on batting
Captaincy is a double-edged sword. Batsmen like Ricky Ponting enjoyed the added responsibility and it helped them bring the best from themselves. Ponting wasn't just an inspiring leader, he was by a fair margin the best batsmen in the team and often led by example.
On the contrary, Hashim Amla found the burden of captaincy hampering his batting and he sacrificed this honour to focus on his strength.
Root is currently England's best Test batsman and the team management was eager to see how his batting fares when he has the extra burden on his shoulders. And fortunately for England, their captain passed the litmus test against South Africa.
Root began his captaincy career with a finely composed and elegant 190 in the first innings of Old Trafford Test and since then hasn't looked back. He scored four fifty-plus scores in eight innings and ended the series as the leading run scorer.
Thus, captaincy has benefitted Root the batsman and it has enabled him to perform with more vigour.