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Joe Root: Australia will try to keep England captain quiet – Strauss

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Australia will “target” England captain Joe Root during this winter’s Ashes tour down under, says director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

Root will lead the side in an Ashes series for the first time with the first Test taking place in November.

Strauss said his one piece of advice to Root would be to “get runs”.

“They know he is England’s best player so if they keep him quiet then that’s going to undermine him as captain as well,” Strauss told BBC Sport.

Strauss captained England in 2010-11 to their only Ashes victory in Australia in the past 30 years, clinching the series 3-1.

With two of their past three trips having ended in 5-0 whitewashes, Strauss stressed the importance of overcoming off-field challenges for England.

“It will hit you from the moment you arrive. You’re in a great big bubble for two or three months and as captain you are a lightning rod for any comments that may come your way and you’re responsible for the performance of the team.

“Managing your energy levels is important – getting away from it by playing golf or spending time with your family.”

‘He is prepared to be his own man’

Joe Root

Root took over the captaincy from Alastair Cook in February and led England to a 3-1 series win over South Africa followed by a 2-1 victory against West Indies this summer.

Strauss has been impressed by the manner in which the Yorkshireman has captained the side.

“I think he has done brilliantly well. He’s our best batsman and it hasn’t affected his batting,” he said.

“I think he’s shown he is prepared to be his own man and do things his own way. He’s looked comfortable in his own skin.”

‘Our Test team isn’t 100% settled’

Strauss said there are “still one or two players staking a claim for the Test team”, with the first of five Tests starting on 23 November in Brisbane.

“You want to go to Australia knowing what your best XI is and I don’t think we are quite there just yet,” the former Middlesex opener said.

“Our Test team isn’t 100% settled at the moment but by and large I can’t grumble, we are in a decent place.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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