Is It Time for Joe Root to Resign as England Test Captain?
With the England team having won only one of their last seventeen test matches – losing five in a row, is it time for Joe Root to step back?
Cricket betting fans certainly weren’t ready for England’s latest series defeat at the hands of the West Indies – and are talking. Is it about time Joe Root was replaced? By whom?
There is no doubt that Joe Root has been a fantastic ambassador for English cricket, in every way. He is dignified and exemplifies leadership. No doubt, every cricket fan in England is proud of what he has achieved, but the job of an England cricket captain is to lead a team to victory – and this isn’t happening anymore.
A RECORD OF SUCCESS
Looking at his stats, there is no doubt that he has won more games as captain than anyone. But with just one win from 17, this is simply not a trend that they can continue. Arguably, it isn’t Root’s fault that they are always 50-5, but some bad choices off the field haven’t helped. In Ahmedabad, for example, they played four seamers and it spun from the first ball. In Brisbane, they batted first on a green top and left out both James Anderson and Stuart Broad. They also chose not to take Anderson or Broad to the Caribbean, despite being two of the best bowlers England has ever seen.
Sadly, mistakes have been made and these have cost the team dear… and maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe the team now needs a new direction and a new energy.
BURDENED BY GLORY
Some captains in the past have simply been overwhelmed by the job of captain – players such as Atherton, Vaughan and even Strauss. But that hasn’t necessarily been the case with Root. If anything, since being captain, his game has improved.
Over the past few years, his record has been incredible. Some even dub him as the best Test match player in world cricket, so clearly, the role as leader hasn’t had much of a negative impact.
It may be that, for now, he carries on into summer, as we yet don’t know who will be stepping up as Head Coach or Director of Cricket. There are still a lot of decisions to be made. English cricket is in a bit of turmoil, so quite what happens next is yet unclear. The one thing that is quite clear though, is that Root does want to stay on as captain, despite it being easier right now to cut and run. Root is nothing if not resilient, but maybe he is staying on for the wrong reasons. England will definitely want him to stay as a fantastic batsman, but maybe there is someone else who can simply do a better job as captain now.
WHO COULD TAKE OVER AS CAPTAIN?
But who would take over the role? The obvious candidate would be Ben Stokes. Stokes has a brilliant brain for cricket. This was obvious just by looking at his World Cup innings and then again at his innings against Australia at Headingley.
He has occasionally captained the team already – including in Australia when Root was off-field. The difference he made was noticeable. He also has the respect of the dressing room, which is very important. When he talks, they listen. His teammates seem to both look up to him and admire him.
However, the only question mark over him is his off-field position right now. He has famously not been in the best place away from the game and has had his problems. However, he simply seems to be loving his cricket again. There might certainly be some conversations to be had over whether he is the right man at the right time for the role.
WHEN WILL WE KNOW?
Realistically, it will be impossible to decide on the role of captain until the position of Director of Cricket has been filled. The new Director will then be tasked with choosing who will be coach. Then, when the new coach is in place, they will then be able to choose who should be the team captain. There are simply too many gaps right now.
In recent years, England has had four players who could arguably take a place in the greatest Test XI – Broad, Anderson, Root and Stokes. Yet still, the team sits at the bottom of the World Test Championship. They should not be the worst team in the world now, but it seems they are.
It’s hard for people to put their bets on this cricket team right now. They are just not performing to their potential – and who knows when they will. Maybe a new captain will help. The team needs a change of direction and maybe Stokes will be the man to deliver. Who knows?!