England's Joe Root at the crease.
England's Joe Root at the crease. Anthony Devlin

'Beating Australia is the one thing you desperately want'

CRICKET: Joe Root will get his first taste of skippering England against South Africa in July but he is already looking further ahead than that.

Root, 26, was appointed as England captain after Alistair Cook gave up the role following the 4-0 Test defeat in India.

The Yorkshireman told BBC Five Live his thoughts were already turning to the Ashes defence in Australia and said he and his teammates had one goal.

"Beating Australia is the one thing you desperately want to do," he said.

"We've a lot of cricket before we go there.

"But that has obviously been at the back of my mind since I was offered the captaincy."

Root said he had kept a close watch on Australia's performances in India but said all that would mean little when the battle for the urn begins in Brisbane on November 23.

"I've kept my eye on it and definitely watched how they've gone about things," he said.

"It's very different the cricket played in India to anywhere else but you get a good sense of the side that is going to line up against you."

Root also looked at the stunning form of rival skipper Steve Smith, who scored 499 runs and three centuries against the Indians in the 2-1 series defeat, saying that was proof that captaining a team should not be a burden.

"I look at guys in a similar position to me and the number of games they've played; Williamson, Smith and Kohli," Root said.

"They've taken on the captaincy and their games have gone up a level. I like to think that I am in that sort of place in my game.

"I think the responsibility and this position gives me an opportunity to do that."

News Corp Australia

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