The young Yorkshireman is being given a chance to prove himself as a future first team skipper.
Yorkshire batsman Joe Root will captain England Lions next month when they play a tour match against New Zealand.
Root will almost certainly be involved in the two-Test series with the Black Caps that follows this match, but the 22-year-old is being given his chance to prove his leadership qualities with the second-string side.
The decision gives further indication from the national selectors that Root is being groomed as a future England skipper – perhaps even as a successor to Alastair Cook.
“Joe Root will lead the side in order to assist his development as a cricketer and provide him with valuable experience of captaincy against quality opposition,” chief selector Geoff Miller was quoted in the Sun.
The batsman has currently played four five-day matches for England, featuring in the series in New Zealand and one Test against India over the winter.
The Sheffield-born player has scored 181 runs in that time at an average of 30.16.
The match between the Lions and the Kiwis will be played at Grace Road on 9 May, with limited-overs coach and former spinner Ashley Giles taking charge of the team.
Root will play alongside fellow Yorkshire player and Ashes hopeful Jonny Bairstow; as well as others who may be hoping to break back into the senior team such as Ravi Bopara and Graham Onions.
Full England Lions XI: Joe Root (c) and Jonny Bairstow (wk) (both Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Varun Chopra, Chris Woakes and Chris Wright (all Warwickshire), Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire), Graham Onions (Durham), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire).