Ashes: Joe Root wants to stay as England captain


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Joe Root wants to continue as England captain despite their 4-0 hammering in the Ashes series in Australia.

Root has led England in 61 Tests, more than any other man, but has not won any of his three Ashes series in charge.

The 31-year-old has seen his team win only one of their past 14 Tests since February of last year.

“I believe that I am the right man to take this team forward. If that decision is taken out of my hands, so be it,” he said.

“I have an appetite to carry on and turn things around.

“At the minute we are going through a real tough stage as a group of players and the performances haven’t been good enough, but I’d love the opportunity to try to turn things around and for us to start putting in performances from an English Test team.”

A 146-run defeat in the final Test in Hobart saw England beaten 4-0 by Australia, just as they were four years ago in Root’s first tour as captain.

Chasing 271 for victory, England lost all 10 wickets for 56 runs to be bowled out for 124, the sixth time in the series they failed to reach 200.

“It’s disappointing to be beaten as heavily as that,” added Root. “It’s a difficult one to take yet again.

“It’s clear and very evident what we need to do to improve, the adjustments that need to be made.”

England’s next Test series is against West Indies in March.

Before then, director of cricket Ashley Giles will file a report on the Ashes tour to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) cricket committee, chaired by his predecessor Andrew Strauss.

Recommendations will then be made to the ECB board, which could include changes to the leadership roles of the England men’s team.

Root has previously supported coach Chris Silverwood and also gave his backing to the “potential” of the players in his squad.

“There’s a lot of talent on show. We’ve just not turned it into performances,” said the Yorkshire batter.

“As a batting group, we were bowled out for under 200 far too many times and you are never going to win Test matches without runs on the board.

“We just need to be far better than we have been.”

Root took over as captain from Alastair Cook in 2017. Since then England have been crowned 50-over world champions, while an additional short-form competition, The Hundred, was introduced into the English domestic game last summer.

Root, who has also seen his players rested and rotated in order to deal with the demands of the Covid era, called for a “reset” in English cricket’s attitude towards the Test game after the Ashes were lost.

“There has been a number of different challenges this team has had to try to overcome,” added Root. “It makes it difficult to get continuity, which feeds into performances.

“When you look at things at a lower level, there are things that definitely need to change. We have an opportunity to prioritise Test cricket off the back of this make a real, significant change to the game.

“I’d like to think that will happen, I really do.”

While Root has delivered the most Test wins as England captain – 27 – he has also presided over a record 24 defeats.

After stating his desire to continue as skipper, he is likely to be given the opportunity to stay on, partly because of England’s lack of other options.

“I see no obvious alternative to him as captain,” former England bowler Steven Finn told Test Match Special.

“It will be down to him. Whether he wants to do it and have that burden on his shoulders, or concentrate on his batting. Because he’s carried that burden for a long time.

“Joe Root is still a young man. I still see a driven man who is one of the best five or six players in the world.”

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