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Lara, Waqar back Root to flourish as England captain

Joe Root has been tipped to shine as England's five-day skipper by two iconic former Test captains, who spoke exclusively to Omnisport.

Joe Root - cropped
England Test captain Joe Root

Brian Lara and Waqar Younis each expect Joe Root to prove a success when he leads England in Test cricket.

Root, widely recognised as one of the leading batsmen in the world, was appointed as his country's new captain in the five-day format last month, following the resignation of Alastair Cook.

England are involved solely in limited-overs matches ahead of June's Champions Trophy, meaning Root has a long wait before his first match as Test skipper, against South Africa at Lord's in July.

Both Lara and Waqar, who captained West Indies and Pakistan respectively during their own illustrious playing careers, believe the Yorkshireman has what it takes to handle the additional responsibility coming his way.

Asked about the main challenges Root will face, Lara told Omnisport: "I think obviously the pressures of being captain. Sometimes that can propel someone even further and [make them] even better. On other occasions, it can be something that can strangle an individual.

"I feel, though, that he is a positive player and has very good self-esteem. I don't think he'll be worried by having that responsibility. I think it's going to be an asset to his game.

"England as a team is playing very good cricket and a captain is only as good as his team. I think he's got a good group of guys to work with and they're going to be helpful along the way, so I expect him to do pretty well."

That view was echoed by former Pakistan seamer and coach Waqar, who added: "I think he will be fine. He's performing really well as a batsman and if you're really doing well as a player, I think you always blossom as a captain.

"He's got all the ingredients to become a good captain. We all know he's batting well, so that's the key."

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