Ben Stokes heaped praise on the "brave" Joe Root for speaking openly about his England Test captaincy struggles as he backed the in-form batter to keep piling on the runs.

Root stepped down from his role as skipper of the red-ball side after a series defeat in West Indies following a run of just one win in their past 17 Tests.

Stokes was appointed as his successor, while Brendon McCullum took over as head coach after the dismissal of Chris Silverwood.

The new era got off to a great start, with Root scoring a majestic unbeaten 115 to pass 10,000 runs in Test cricket and help England to a five-wicket victory over New Zealand last Sunday.

Root admitted after that knock, his first international without the captaincy, that the extra responsibility had started to negatively impact his private life.

Stokes says the former skipper has a spring back in his step.

"I went through that whole ride with Joe, especially over the last two years. We had some private conversations on tours away around that kind of stuff," Stokes told reporters.

"I'm sure everybody knows, being England captain is more than just what you do out on the field. You can end up taking it home and it can affect your personal situation – which Joe was very brave to say.

"This week, without that added pressure of being captain, it was almost like Joe was 18 again. And I'm pretty sure it won't be long till he's snipping people's socks again.

"It's great to see Joe the way that he is. It's great that he doesn't have that mountain of added pressure of being captain on his shoulders.

"And the one thing Joe always does is score runs."

Stokes also hopes England can ride the wave under McCullum and secure an unassailable 2-0 lead by winning the second Test, which starts at Trent Bridge on Friday.

"First time out winning a series would obviously be good," he added. "It's going to be a long road with the way that we have changed mindset. I know there's going to be some ups and some downs.

"We're on a big up after winning last week, but we've just got to try and take everything as it comes, because who knows what this week will have in store for us."