The long awaited appointment of Joe Root as England captain was finally made on Monday.
The move comes as no surprise as Root has long been tipped to succeed Alistair Cook as England captain.
The 26-year-old had a magnificent 2016 after scoring 1477 runs, just four runs shy of Michael Vaughan’s record set back in 2002.
The decision has been questioned by many who believe that this could hamper his individual performances. Andrew Flintoff went as far as saying the job was the worst he’d ever encountered.
The batting average became a major talking point during Cook’s reign as captain. He famously went nearly two years without a century from May 2013 to May 2015 while captain and this led to his captaincy being called into question. Despite this Cook’s average was not affected as it stayed at 46 both as captain and when just in the ranks.
Other England captains have had mixed results when it comes to their own form as captain. Graham Gooch flourished when batting as captain. His average was 58.72 when he was in charge whereas he scored at a measly 35.93 when he wasn’t.
Self-proclaimed Yorkshireman Vaughan had a massive drop in scoring runs when captaining England. His average with the bat was 50.98 before he was given the reigns. That lowered to 36.02 when he was skipper. This does not reflect his overall impact as captain though as he has the most wins as England captain with 26.
Recent captains in the modern game have seen their averages when captain raise. Kane Williamson has seen his average rise above 50 since he became captain of New Zealand. This is seen as meagre compared to India and Australia’s current captains.
Virat Kohli’s average has gone from 41 to above 60 in his 23 matches leading India. His impact in Alistair Cook’s final series as England captain was shown to be massive. Kohli averaged 109 in just eight innings in India’s four-nil victory.
Steve Smith has seen an even more remarkable rise in his batting stats since being named as Australia’s captain in 2015. His average is 73.73 as captain of Australia compared to an impressive 51.83 beforehand.
All three of these men have also seen their win percentages rise in the test team after becoming captain of their respective countries.
These are all positive signs as Root hopes not to be a burden as Yorkshire’s 10th leader of the England test side.