One of the best in the world, if not the best - Stokes lauds prolific Root

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Ben Stokes hailed Joe Root as one of the best players in the world, "if not the best", after England's skipper equalled a Test record at Headingley on Friday.

Stokes provided the most significant contribution to a modest total of 258 all out when England batted first in the second Test against West Indies, the vice-captain making exactly 100 from 124 deliveries.

Yet Root's innings of 59 was a notable one as the 26-year-old matched AB de Villiers by recording a score of 50 or more for the 12th Test in succession.

With the aid of two centuries, Root has averaged 65 since succeeding Alastair Cook as captain of his country's Test side.

"He's a hell of a player," said Stokes. "He has been for a long time now and the captaincy hasn't affected his run-scoring ability whatsoever. If anything, it's made him into a better player, if that's possible."

Root's run-scoring is regularly compared to three other international captains in Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson. The quartet hold four of the top five positions in the ICC Test batting rankings, with Root second behind Australia skipper Smith.

"There's guys around the world who are known as the best players in the world and we've got one of them if not the best," added Stokes.

"The records he's managed to break, the runs he's scoring are showing why he is."