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Joe Root, one of England’s most prolific run-getter in the international arena, has decided to quit Test captaincy. Following their defeat against the West Indies 1-0, questions were raised about whether the top-order batter was suitable for the role of captaincy.
Though following the conclusion of that series, Root insisted that he wished to continue as the captain of the national side. And, despite defeat to West Indies, he felt that his team made “big improvements” and played some “brilliant cricket.”
Root took over his predecessor Alastair Cook in 2017 and, in his stint of five years, he has already led his side to most matches (64), wins (27), and losses (26) than any other English captain. But their misery in the last 17 matches, which saw them win only one game, started questioning his role as the leader.
England’s misery in the last 17 matches
It has been an absolute disaster for the English side in the last 17 matches in the longest format of the game. They have played five series in total, losing all five of them.
Before the India tour in 2021, England was coming off a 2-0 win in Sri Lanka and at that time, they needed to win a 3-1 margin in India to qualify for the 2021 World Test Championship final. They won the first game by a huge margin of 227 runs on the back of Joe’s 218.
However, since then it was a big downfall for the English side. They lost the next three games of the series and lost their place in the final of the 2021 WTC. Of course, the pitch in India later changed to support the home side following outrage from fans when India lost the first game.
ENG then faced New Zealand for a two-match series at home. The first game was drawn but the second game was won by the visitors on the back of a strong performance. This was England’s first home series loss since 2014.
Since then, they were visited by India. They played four out of five Tests and India led 2-1 before they pulled out of the last test to get ready for the rescheduled IPL. The last test was then rescheduled to India’s 2022 tour where they would play three ODIs and as many T20I matches with the ECB confirming that the match will not be a one-off but will determine the outcome of the 2021 series.
The Ashes followed in winter, where they stood no chance to Pat Cummins and his Australians as they suffered another 4-0 defeat. It also stretched their losses in Australia to 13 with two draws.
We all know that the West Indies series was their latest loss. And it turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for Joe and his leadership.
Joe Root and his records as captain
Make no mistake. Joe as a leader has been tremendous. He had achieved many records that no English captains have done before. Let’s take a look at some of the records he achieved in his stint as the skipper.
Possible players who can replace Joe Root
There have been few players who were highlighted for the past few months when Root started having his captaincy questioned. There are a few players who can replace him, including some of his old mates who have experience as a leader.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
He is one of the strong candidates to replace Joe Root. He does have a short history of leading England; once in Test against the West Indies in 2020 and one whole ODI series against Pakistan in 2021. His success rate is 100 percent as he is yet to lose a game.
The only problem with Stokes is his mental health issue. He missed a few series between 2020 and 2021 before he announced his infinite break from all cricket.
Another strong candidate to replace Joe is the explosive Jos Buttler. With 13 international matches under his belt as a skipper, he has won eight and lost five. Though he never led the side in the longest format of the game. His recent Test stats are also not up to the mark, averaging only 22 in 18 innings since the start of 2021.
James Vince may not have any leadership experience at the international level, but he does have a vast experience in County Cricket and white-ball competitions. He led Hamshire to the Royal London One-Day Cup victory in 2018 and led Southern Brave to the first title of “The Hundred” competition.
Broad is another player with white-ball experience at the international level. He led the English side to 30 games. He was a T20I skipper for a long time between 2011 and 2014, leading them to 27 matches. He has been one of the oldest active Test cricketers for the team and with a huge experience in the red-ball game, there’s a good chance that he may take over the role.
Who do you think should be England’s next captain in Test? Comment below.