JOE ROOT has almost five months to settle on his field placings against South Africa at Lord's, but only a matter of hours to make sure he chooses the right words for his first day on duty as England's new Test captain.

As a string of others have discovered before Root in recent years, a modern international captain must be a success in front of the microphone as well as in the middle.

An early examination of the Yorkshireman's suitability will come this afternoon when he faces the press for his first public appearance since he was confirmed as Alastair Cook's successor.

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The 26-year-old has already made a fine start, of course – not just in the remarks he contributed to the England and Wales Cricket Board statement on Monday morning, but also in countless interviews through his career to date as merely a promising and then outstanding batsman in the ranks.

The rules, however, are about to change, and when Root faces the cameras on familiar ground at Headingley this week, he will begin to be judged as never before.

Root, who was appointed Cook's vice-captain in May 2015, will not lead England out until the first of seven summer Tests on July 6.

What he says and does before then will nonetheless be closely monitored, but it was no surprise that he got the tone spot on in the ECB's press release.

"It is a huge honour to be given the England Test captaincy," said Root.

"I feel privileged, humbled and very excited."

All-rounder Ben Stokes will be Root's vice-captain, as England seek to establish a new leadership era not just against South Africa and West Indies this summer but to face Australia in next winter's Ashes.

England's record Test run scorer Cook is expected to remain at the top of the order for the foreseeable future.

Root, who averages almost 53 in his 53 Tests to date, will therefore have no shortage of advisers to turn to on and off the pitch - including experienced pace pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace.

He added: ''We have a very good group of players, and I'm looking forward to leading them out in the summer - building on Alastair's achievements and making the most of our talents in the years ahead.

''The senior guys in the changing room play a very influential role - and while there's a natural progression for me, it's a huge support to know that they are there to help and advise.''

Colin Graves, ECB chairman and a fellow Yorkshireman, added: "Joe Root is the perfect choice for England Test captain.

"I'm delighted he has accepted the role and will now help to take the team to the next level.

"When I spoke to him last night you could feel the excitement and sense the pride - he can't wait to get started."

The time is nigh.