Joe Root believes Alex Lees will be a big hit as Yorkshire’s Twenty20 captain

England star Joe Root is backing Alex Lees as Yorkshire skipper
England star Joe Root is backing Alex Lees as Yorkshire skipper
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Sheffield’s Joe Root has backed Yorkshire team-mate Alex Lees to be a success in the role of one-day skipper.

Batsman Lees kicks off his captaincy career at Yorkshire in their NatWest T20 Blast opener against Leicestershire at Headingley on Friday and England star Root said: “I’ve seen Alex do it, and I think he’s brilliant.

“He’s very mature for his age with a good understanding of the game. It will do him the world of good. It will obviously put a bit more pressure on him, but he thrives on that. You saw that when he scored a hundred on the telly against a brilliant attack at Nottinghamshire recently.

“Fingers crossed, he will relish the challenge and prove to everyone his tactical nous and skill.”

Root played in Yorkshire’s only appearance at Finals Day, back in 2012, and three seasons of disappointment have followed since - in T20 cricket, at least.

But Root said: “We’ve got an exciting squad. But, as you’ve seen in previous years, it’s all very well having an exciting squad. It’s about putting in the performances consistently.

“We have underperformed over the last couple of tournaments, so it would be nice to really get off to a strong start and build some momentum – make sure we get to the quarter-finals and go on from there because Finals Day is a great day.”

Root played a starring role as England reached the final of the World T20 in India, and hopes that success can have a knock-on effect at domestic level.

“The way we played was outstanding,” the 25-year-old added.

“That will hopefully give guys in county cricket confidence and show they can play with the freedom that we had.

“Only time will tell if that happens, but there’s certainly plenty of talent around the country that can drag us forward.”

“The standard of Twenty20 cricket is improving all the time in England, and hopefully it can continue to do that because there are some amazing franchise competitions around the world,” Root added.

“We need to make sure that the standard of our competition is as good as that. I think we’ve got the players – that was proven by the way we played in the World Cup.

”Now it is about making sure the other guys do that in county cricket, take five wickets, make big scores, show off their skills and try to put pressure on the guys who’ve got the shirt at the minute.”