Joe Root has denied that the Test captaincy has affected his batting.

The England long-form skipper and highest-ranked batsman said that batting at No.3 and the testing conditions were to blame for his dip in form earlier this year.

Asked whether leadership was negatively affecting his performance, Root told Sky Sports: “No, not at all. I think this summer batting at three was playing on my mind a little bit more than anything else.

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“The surfaces we were playing on made it very difficult at the top of the order: it was seaming and swinging for high-quality bowlers.

“There are always going to be question marks if you are not scoring the runs you have in the past or that you would like to, there is always going to be a reason behind it.

“I know what I need to do score runs. I felt like I overcame that at the back-end of the series against India and now I am ready to try and kick on.”

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Root has struggled to convert fifties to centuries since taking over the captaincy and it took him until the final match of the summer against India to register three figures, when he hit 125 at The Oval, having moved down to No.4.

Shane Warne recently suggested Root should give up the captaincy to concentrate on his batting.

England will play three Tests against Sri Lanka at the conclusion of the five-match ODI series and one-off T20.