England Batsman Joe Root has been told to lower his batting averages over the coming months in preparation for his appointment as captain of the side.

Sources close to the team have revealed that Director of Cricket, Andrew Strauss has reportedly instructed the 26 year old to bring his scores down by “at least 25%” before he can be considered for the position.

With a long running tradition of promising and successful players seeing a nosedive in performance shortly after taking on the leadership role, it is understood that Strauss wants to “get ahead of the curve” on this occasion and bring his success levels down straight away.

Strauss himself saw a drop in form as captain

“It makes a great deal of sense” said team psychologist Michael Shacklesoff. “Player’s like Joe can see high levels of depression after taking on the position of captain,” he explained. “A sudden drop in form, combined with the extra responsibility and criticism the role brings, can be devastating. Andrew’s got it right here. Bringing his scores down to a dreadful level before he takes on the job will help his adjustment period enormously”.

It is understood Joe is expected to begin formal work on reducing his success at the beginning of this summer’s test series against South Africa, with a trial period starting during the upcoming ODIs.