Betfred have opened a market on Root’s replacement, and all-rounder Ben Stokes is the overwhelming favourite at 8/15.
But can England really give it to him?
His workloads are astronomical already as an all format player, and I would be so wary about piling extra pressure on him as one of England’s two best players alongside Root.
The man who is fourth in the running at 9/1 is the one who I would go with, Sam Billings.
A trophy-winning county captain with Kent last season as he won the Vitality Blast, Billings made his Test debut in the final Ashes Test at Hobart and was jettisoned immediately for the West Indies tour.
But Ben Foakes didn’t pull up any trees in the Caribbean behind the stumps.
I like Billings’ as a player with a game to suit red ball cricket and character.
He is a 30-year-old with 75 first-class games under his belt, and it may be important that Kent man Rob Key is the favourite to be England’s new director of cricket. He will be the man at the centre of the new captain’s appointment.
At 8/15, there are just too many doubts over Stokes, and I think 9/1 is a great price for Billings.
Dropped greats Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson are priced at 6/1 and 20/1 respectively. Broad is the second favourite ahead of Jonny Bairstow at 8/1.
Aside from Stokes and Root, Bairstow is the only other player who seems assured of a long-term run in the team after winter centuries in Sydney and Antigua. But the Yorkshireman lacks previous captaincy experience.
County Championship-winning captains Rory Burns of Surrey and Warwickshire’s Will Rhodes are priced at 16/1 and 25/1 respectively, while Hampshire skipper James Vince is 10/1.
Out of those three, I see Vince as the most likely, and I think he would be my second choice behind Billings. We all know the quality of Vince with the bat, but he just hasn’t been able to show it for long enough at the highest level.
The outsider in betfred’s market is young Yorkshire batter Harry Brook at 66/1.
Now, Brook, 23-years-old, scored an opening round County Championship century against Gloucestershire this weekend and is an England Test player of the future – maybe even this summer.
But him as captain, now that would be one heck of a shock!
One thing is for certain, the lead up to the start of the home international summer – against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2 – will be fascinating.
* Indian Premier League odds correct at the time of publication. All IPL odds subject to changes.