Joe Root says he wants to continue as England captain despite the West Indies inflicting yet another series defeat on his side. England lost the third Test in Grenada by ten wickets on Sunday (March 27), continuing a disastrous run which has seen them win just one, and lose eleven, of their last 17 matches.
Joe Root Eager to Stay on as England Captain
Root has presided over four series defeats in their last five rubbers and England were also 2-1 down against India last summer before the final Test was postponed. But he is adamant that he wants to remain as captain despite his team’s recent poor showings and despite calls for him to be replaced, including by former England captain Nasser Hussain.
“I think I’ve made it quite clear at the start of this game and throughout this tour, I’m very passionate about trying to take this team forward,” Root told BT Sport.
“I don’t think it’s ever in your hands completely but as I said, I feel like the group are very much behind me. We’re doing a lot of really good things. We just need to turn that into results.”
The decision to stay in the post may be taken out of Root’s hands, of course. Before England’s next Test assignment, against New Zealand in June, the team should have a new Director of Cricket and head coach and those appointed may decide to take the captaincy off Root. The challenge in that scenario would be the lack of viable alternatives to the Yorkshireman.
Root claimed England had played some “brilliant” cricket during the series and said he thought that the batting line-up, so often the reason for the team’s failings in recent times, had made progress.
That is despite England suffering three batting collapses in their six innings during the series, including on the third day in Grenada when they were lost eight for 101.
“Immediately there’s frustration at how it’s finished because throughout this series I think we’ve played some really good cricket,” Root said.
“I think we’ve shown what we’re capable of as a group. I think we’ve grown over the first two games as a batting group, we’ve shown big strides in that department and shown what we are capable of and then yesterday has really let us down.
“It’s an important day within the series and we just didn’t stand up to it well enough. Then unfortunately you find us in this position where we’ve ended up losing out on the series, in which we’ve played so much brilliant cricket.”
In terms of positives, Root pointed to improvements in the team’s attitude and said the tour had been useful for giving England a chance to look at some new players, like Saqib Mahmood and Alex Lees.
“I thought the attitude throughout the whole thing’s been brilliant. In that respect, we’ve definitely made big improvements, and that has to continue,” Root said.
“There are so many good things that we can take away from this. Of course we came here to win and we’ve not, and that’s frustrating, it’s disappointing. But if we’re going to keep learning and keep growing as a team, and if we’re going to start winning, then we’ve got to keep that approach.
“We’ve got to keep doing the stuff that we did so well the first few games and in parts of this one. I think one thing we have done, we’ve learned more about some new players, there have been two debutants come in and show promise, they’re at the start of their journey now and that’s very exciting. So you know, we will take things away from it, but it’s frustrating today.”
Joe Root scored 1,708 Test runs in 2021 but has failed to replicate his form in 2022. He scored 322 runs in the five-match Ashes series while just 289 runs in the three-match series against West Indies.