Newly-appointed England skipper Joe Root believes the red-hot form of Steve Smith proves captaincy shouldn't be a burden to his batting.

Smith consolidated his spot as the world's No 1 batsman following a brilliant campaign in India where he chalked up 499 runs and three centuries, albeit in a losing cause.

Root and Smith have chopped and changed at the top of the ICC test batting rankings for much of the past two-and-a-half years.

However, the Australian is now the undoubted top dog, clocking up a staggering 12 tons in 24 tests as captain since first leading the side when deputising for an injured Michael Clarke in late 2014.

Advertisement

New Zealand's Kane Williamson and India's Virat Kohli have also flourished with the bat following their captaincy appointments, and Root, who will lead England to Australia in October, is confident he can do the same.

"I look at guys in a similar position to me and the number of games they've played; Williamson, Smith and Kohli," Root said. "They've taken on the captaincy and their games have gone up a level. I like to think that I am in that sort of place in my game. I think the responsibility and this position gives me an opportunity to do that."

Root, 26, will get his first taste of life as skipper when England host a four- match series against South Africa in July, followed by three tests against the West Indies.

But he admits he's already thinking about facing Australia later this year when he will revisit the scene of his lowest moment in an otherwise outstanding career, three years ago.

With the tourists trailing 4-0 and a dressing room riddled with in-fighting involving Kevin Pietersen and other senior players, Root was dropped for the first and only time for the Sydney test having passed 50 just once in eight visits to the crease.

It proved a temporary blip as he led the way in England's Ashes retention 18 months later but Root said toppling Smith's side away from home is already in his thoughts.

"Beating Australia is the one thing you desperately want to do," he said. "We've a lot of cricket before we go there. But that has obviously been at the back of my mind since I was offered the captaincy."

The Yorkshireman has closely observed Australia's performances in India but claims it will mean nothing when the Ashes get under way in Brisbane on November 23.

"I've kept my eye on it and watched how they've gone about things," he said. "It's very different the cricket played in India to anywhere else but you get a good sense of the side that is going to line up against you."