Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire’s head coach, believes Sheffield’s Joe Root will be the next captain of England - and insists the 24-year-old is ready to take the top job tomorrow.
Gillespie, who led Yorkshire to the County Championship title last season, believes that the Sheffield Collegiate batsman will have to bide his time, with Alastair Cook currently in situ ahead of a punishing Test schedule this summer.
But the Australian, speaking in an interview with The Guardian, said: “Joe is ready now.
“He may not get the opportunity for a while because I think Alastair Cook will do his thing for some time. But I’ve never understood why some people say Rooty needs to play more, needs more experience.
“Graeme Smith captained South Africa after eight Tests and it didn’t do him a lot of harm.
“Rooty has played 22 Tests. Plus Michael Vaughan had played just 31 when he took the job. I wouldn’t look into that too much, he’s been around a bit now.
“I don’t think it would be the burden people think it would be.
“If he gets the chance I think he will embrace it and do a good job.”
Gillespie’s opportunities to work with Root have been limited since he established himself in the England Test, ODI and T20 sides - and Yorkshire will go into their first game of the County Championship season missing SIX players who are away on England duty in the Caribbean.
A three-test series against the West Indies starts on April 13 with Root and Gary Ballance certain to be involved. Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid and Adam Lyth are also pushing for inclusion.
“Part of our job is to help these lads achieve the dream of playing for their country,” Gillespie added.
“We see it as a positive and have a belief in our system that we can bring players through for the first team.
“Hopefully the guys that get the opportunities take them and so when our England players get back they make the selection decisions really difficult.”