Joe Root describes 'unhealthy relationship' with England captaincy after New Zealand win

Joe Root handed over his England captaincy to Ben Stokes earlier this year after just one win in 17 Test matches, and the 31-year-old looked relieved of the pressure against New Zealand.

With the pressure of captaincy off his shoulders, Joe Root put on a dazzling show in the first Test against New Zealand this week, with his unbeaten 115 helping the side to wrap up the win.

Root had led the side for a record 64 Test matches during his five-year spell as captain, but following the dismal Ashes defeat over the winter, the Yorkshire batter decided to hand over the reins to Ben Stokes.

Stokes' start to life as England captain was superb, with England securing a five-wicket win over New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday, but Root was the standout performer in the side, and he looked comfortable in an England shirt having been freed of the expectation of captaincy.

He scooped up the Player of the Match award following his 26th Test century, and Root spoke for the first time about his decision to pass the baton to Stokes.

"It had become a very unhealthy relationship to be honest, the captaincy and me," said Root.

"It started to really take a bad toll on my own personal health. I couldn't leave it at the ground anymore, it was coming home.

"It wasn't fair on my family, on people close to me and it wasn't fair on myself either.

"I had thrown everything at it and I was determined to help turn this team around but I realised over that time at home that it would have to be in a different way."

Root recorded his 10,000th Test run during Sunday's play, making him just the second Englishman to achieve the feat after Sir Alistair Cook.

With the new-look England side starting brightly, Root can now look forward to doing what he does best - scoring runs.

"I'm very excited to do that now and to do everything I can to help Ben really turn this team around and make this team the force it should and can be.

"I'm proud of the way I did the role. I'll do anything I can to help England win Test matches and be a side people enjoy watching and can be proud of.

"It got to the stage where it was time for someone else to lead that but I can try and influence it in a different role, in a different way.

"I threw absolutely everything at the role and I'm proud of the way that I tried to do that."

England will start the second Test against New Zealand on June 10 at Trent Bridge.

READ MORE: England win first Test against New Zealand by five wickets, after superb century from Joe Root

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