The Phuket News
Root’s future as England captain in doubt after West Indies rout
QUESTIONS ARE BEING ASKED AS to whether Joe Root should remain as England’s Test captain after the West Indies inflicted the latest damaging defeat of his tenure.
A thumping 10-wicket defeat in the third and final Test in Grenada on Sunday (Mar 27) condemned England to a 1-0 series loss after two draws.
Root has now overseen just one win in 17 Tests and has failed to lead England to a series victory in his last five attempts since succeeding Alastair Cook as captain in 2017.
Unlike many an England skipper, Root has maintained his form and is guaranteed a starting place in the batting order, having topped the tourists’ batting averages in the West Indies after a 2021 where he scored 1,708 Test runs, the third highest tally in any calendar year.
But longstanding doubts over whether he has the forceful personality and tactical skills needed for captaincy have only intensified in recent months.
Former England captain Mike Atherton is was adamant Root’s position as skipper was “untenable” and fellow former skipper Nasser Hussain accused “world-class batsman” Root of lacking an “instinctive feel for the game as captain” and being party to a “cop-out” following England’s controversial decision to leave James Anderson and Stuart Broad – their two all-time most successful Test bowlers – out of the squad for the Caribbean.
Yet whoever is captain will have a tough task if England keep suffering the kind of collapse that saw them dismissed for 120 in Grenada to leave the West Indies requiring a mere 28 to win.
“I don’t see this Test match side suddenly becoming a team that consistently wins series after series and that’s even in English conditions,” former England captain Michael Vaughan told BT Sport, adding his fellow Yorkshire batsman Root was “a long way short” tactically.
Root, however, insisted on Sunday he wants to remain as skipper, saying: “I feel like the group are very much behind me. I know this is a results-based business but it does not feel like we are far away from turning results.” Julian Guyer, AFP