Since becoming Test captain, Root has tweaked practice sessions to ensure all players spend slightly more time working on the specific skills they will need in future series.
Root has ordered thoughts of the Ashes to be placed on hold until after the matches against West Indies, which start with the first day/night Test in England at Edgbaston tomorrow. But the trip to Australia, and the promise of a ferocious pace attack, can never be too far from the mind.
Root told Standard Sport: “Going to Australia we’re going to be facing quite a lot of high pace, maybe a few more short balls than normal, so it is important I feel topped up on that in practice. Then when it comes around, it is not a shock to the system.
“Whether it be during practice sessions or afterwards, at no time should you feel you are standing still as a player.
“You should be going out of your way to develop your game. It can be easy to overlook that over a long series or during a long summer, but if you take a bit of time here and there, maybe even just five or 10 minutes, it might give you something extra further down the line.
“Hopefully that means that in six months’ time we’re not a side standing still but one that is moving forward and always looking to improve.
“The side have usually been very good in that respect but little reminders can only help.”
Root’s first taste of captaincy ended with a 3-1 Investec Series win over South Africa, with England winning at Lord’s, The Kia Oval and Old Trafford but losing at Trent Bridge.
It would be quite a surprise if West Indies, eighth in the world Test rankings and successful in only two of their past 17 five-day matches, denied him a second series win.
But Ashes series tend to define England players and Root will be determined to lead a happier trip than his first tour of Australia — the 2013-14 series, when the home side delivered a 5-0 whitewash.