Root still in need of a few answers, but Holder has the biggest problems

'Through hard times we have to stay together' - Holder (1:42)

West Indies captain Jason Holder says his team will bring a new approach into the second Test as they try to turn the series around (1:42)

Yorkshire, and Headingley in particular, is a pretty good place in which ponder captaincy - a pretty good place in which to ponder most matters cricketing, the locals might add. The ground of Hutton and Close, Illingworth (with a grudging nod to Leicestershire) and Vaughan will this match fete the latest member of a proud lineage when Joe Root leads England out for the first time in a Test on his home ground. However well he does - and England will seal the series if they can win for the fourth time in a row - he can expect plenty of feedback.

Root has probably already passed his probation, with England's response to their defeat by South Africa at Trent Bridge last month providing solid evidence for the appraisal. Tougher challenges await, not least a looming winter in Australia, but Root is beginning to shape this England team to reflect his own moods and disposition. The nerves of Lord's have quickly been replaced by the steel that tempers his batting.

The man opposite him at the coin toss on Friday is striving admirably to do the same thing - though Jason Holder, Root's junior by ten months, has been doing the job for almost two years. His struggles are more of a reflection on the systemic problems that have bedevilled West Indies cricket for the last 20 years but Holder could be forgiven for wondering if there were more rewarding furrows to plough.

He has been offered feedback at every turn for the last week - whether wanted or not - and knows what to expect if West Indies cannot lift themselves above the low bar they set at Edgbaston. For Holder, playing Test cricket was a childhood dream and captaining the side is a calling that he won't shirk. Like Root, he is a softly spoken young man trying his damnedest to fashion a group of players in his own hard-working image.

"It's not easy," Holder said. "We haven't had the best results over the last few years but I enjoy it. I don't shy away from it and I don't think I'd ever give it up. There might be a situation where people want to move on from me but I can't control that. The one thing I can control is trying to get the best out of each and every individual in the dressing room and I try my best to do that. One thing I've said to myself is that when I leave here just leave some kind of mark on it. So far the guys have been quite receptive and helped me out tremendously. It is a young group, we're trying to learn as fast as we possibly can under the circumstances we're faced with."

West Indies have battened down the hatches in the days since Edgbaston, working with the team's sports psychologist, Steve Sylvester, and trying to "understand our games a bit more". On Tuesday, they visited Bramall Lane - no longer a Test ground but the home of Sheffield United (coincidentally the team Root supports). The knives may have been out but the Blades were more welcoming.

"I don't really hear it," Holder said of the criticism. "I can't change it or control so it's a waste of time worrying about it. We've taken a fair bit of criticism from West Indians and English and everybody else to be honest. That's something that inspires or motivates some people and it breaks some people. But for us we've got to stay together as a side for people who might not necessarily be able to handle it. For the people it motivates that must drive them to get the best out of themselves."

While Holder and the coach, Stuart Law, attempt to rally a dressing room that has experienced far more dales than peaks in recent times, England are in no mood to offer mercy. Root gives the impression that some traditionally Yorkshire straight-talking was required after England followed a resounding win over South Africa at Lord's with pusillanimous defeat a week later and he wants the team to continue honing a harder edge at Headingley.

That also comes with a tacit admission that there are future battles to prepare for. Chris Woakes' return in place of Toby Roland-Jones - a man who Root said had "not done a lot wrong" - suggested they are edging closer to their preferred XI ahead of the Ashes. Root's demand of his players "mentally being ruthless and at no point easing off the gas when we get into a position of strength" seems to have been reflected in selection.

"It is important to make sure we win this series," he said. "After a strong performance last week it is vitally important that we back that up. Earlier on in the summer at Trent Bridge we didn't play as well as we could have after a really strong start to that series against South Africa. Having that mentality of going out and backing that up and trying to gain some momentum and consistency moving ahead is really important.

"It's alright saying things and asking the guys to do it but when they go out there and back up performances it makes it really pleasing that the message is getting across and we are capable of doing those things. So for me it's just another opportunity to go out and gather that momentum and gain some more consistency."

Words from a captain are only so important as the responses they provoke, of course. England's other selection issues revolve around opener, No. 3 and No. 5 - currently Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan - and Root had straightforward advice. "I think the only message for those guys is to go out there and take this opportunity. It's another week of hard Test cricket, where of course guys are under different pressures wherever they bat in the batting order. If they want to nail down those spots they have to deal with that and, if they get in, make it really count."

Root's family will heading across from Sheffield "in their forces" to watch on, as English cricket's heartland prepares for an outpouring of pride - Jonny Bairstow's advice on Twitter was for Yorkshire folk to "get your hands in your pockets and get here". For Holder and a West Indies side bowed by the weight of history and their current diminished circumstances, pride must come from within.