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Root Survives But Where were the Alternatives?

As expected, England’s backroom staff have paid the price for a disastrous Ashes tour. Ashley Giles, Chris Silverwood and Graham Thorpe all leave their roles after a poor period where the red ball unit has been humiliated both home and away.

One man survived the cull and England will head to their next assignment with Joe Root still in charge on the pitch. It was an obvious decision for a number of reasons but the most concerning issue for the committee was a lack of tangible alternatives.

A Lack of Options

In terms of his ability on the pitch, Joe Root’s batting was unaffected by the crisis within England’s test squad. Root’s aggregate of 1708 runs in 2021 was the highest for the 12 months and the third best in any calendar year. Root also chipped in with some useful wickets – often appearing as a lone spinner as the selectors chose to go in with all seam attacks.

It was a productive year for the skipper but his captaincy came under great scrutiny in many areas. Australian critics were particularly harsh during that 2021/22 Ashes series and some felt it was time for England to move on.

Root, meanwhile, insisted that he wanted to carry on and help rebuild test cricket in England. He’s been the standout player in this side over the last two seasons and his ability to lead by example is never in doubt.

When questions over Root’s future began to emerge, only two likely candidates were discussed in the media. Stuart Broad is a leader within the bowling unit but is reaching the end of his career and would only be seen as a caretaker captain.

Ben Stokes was the other obvious candidate but a record of injury would have counted against the all-rounder. Joe Root may not be captain by default but a lack of alternative skippers helps him retain his role as England head for the Caribbean.

What’s Next for England?

England’s next challenge involves three tests against the West Indies starting in Antigua on March 8th. The team then heads to Barbados a week later before the final test, beginning in Grenada on March 24th,

Given that there are issues in both camps, this should be a tight and entertaining series for the neutral. Early cricket betting markets, as sourced by Sbo.net suggest that West Indies will be slight favourites but the odds indicate that England will offer a serious challenge to the home side.

As that series approaches, the markets will fill up and sbo.net will add any updated prices to their schedules. There will also be news articles and opinion pieces for readers to digest while anyone wanting to get involved in those markets is free to do so.

Each member of the panel of bookmakers is ready to accept new customers who will find welcome packages available in return for registration. A set of funding methods will be on hand to get those accounts moving while there are help facilities and other sporting markets in place.

It’s a good site to have on your side during that West Indies v England series and it will be fascinating to see if Joe Root can start to turn English cricket around.

Looking to the Future

With Root still in the role, it’s likely that the next England captain will be a younger player who is still rising through the ranks. In this regard, there are no likely candidates with those members of the Ashes squad failing to take the opportunity to cement their place in the side.

Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley and Rory Burns might be considered in the future but they have to score consistently enough to become automatic choices in the starting XI.

There have also been suggestions that the new captain may come from outside of the current squad with Somerset’s Tom Abell one of the names under discussion. Younger faces with a big future include Harry Brook who made his England debut in the recent T20 series against the West Indies.

Once again, there are no obvious candidates for this crucial role so it’s all down to Joe Root to lead England’s renaissance.

Times of Sports
Times of Sports
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