NO matter how much Joe Root looks like a future England captain the ECB should control the urge to give him the job.

It seems to be the knee-jerk reaction as soon as a genuine star comes to the fore for England that every man and his dog starts touting him for the top job.

The captaining skills, or lack of them, of the current incumbent Alastair Cook have been under the microscope for a long time now.

He has looked perilously close to the chop on numerous occasions over the past couple of years, only to doggedly cling to his position in the team, often at the expense of others.

Head coaches have come and gone, but Cook has remained, despite often being woefully short of form.

Just when you think his time is up, he has come up with a job-saving knock – scoring centuries in the last two series against New Zealand and West Indies – or the team has rallied round to come up with an unexpected good result.

Part of Cook’s saving grace has been the lack of an obvious successor, until now.

Root looks every inch a captain, and he is still only 24.

His electrifying century in the first innings of the first Ashes Test combined controlled aggression with a raft of classic strokes.

But it is his calmness in the face of adversity that has had many pundits clamouring for him to be handed the captaincy.

Coming in to face the Australians with three wickets down so early on the opening morning was a perilous situation, yet he did not try to batten down the hatches and wait for the storm to pass.

This young man just played his natural game and, along with Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance, dragged England out of a hole.

He then faced up to the national and international press with all the poise and maturity of a veteran, refusing to get too carried away by his pivotal innings.

That ability to handle the media commitments of a modern cricketer is a prerequisite for any captain.

Root also looks to be tactically astute and is clearly considered a good mediator after being handed the vice captaincy.

And that, I think, is where he should stay for now.

The ECB has made this mistake in the past, weighing down the star of the team with the burden of captaincy.

Ian Botham, David Gower, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen have all had their wings clipped by the extra responsibility.

When the chips are down, those who you turn to to score the runs or take the wickets should be left with the freedom to focus on doing just that.

At the moment, Root is the team’s leading light.

There are others, like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, who can produce moments of magic but this young Yorkshireman seems to be the catalyst for everything that is good about the team.

So I would urge the selectors to leave him be.

Whatever happens in this Ashes series, let us enjoy the youthful enthusiasm of this superstar in the making for a little while longer, before the weight of responsibility and expectation drag him down.