Joe Root REFUSES to confirm if he will captain England beyond Ashes series after his side surrender urn to Australia… as skipper calls for ‘reset’ in red-ball approach after losing a national-record nine Tests in 2021
- England were dismissed for just 68 on the third morning at the MCG
- It was the visitors’ lowest team total in Australia for more than 117 years
- Joe Root’s men therefore went on to lose the third Test by an innings and 14 runs
- But he refused to confirm whether he would remain skipper beyond series
Joe Root has refused to say whether he will continue to lead England once their horror tour of Australia is over, after they surrendered the Ashes in the equivalent of 10 days’ play.
England were dismissed for 68 on the third morning at the MCG, to lose the third Test by an innings and 14 runs, and fall 3-0 behind with two games to play. It was their lowest total in Australia for over 117 years.
Asked whether he intended to carry on in a job that has now brought him 24 Test defeats – the most by an England captain – Root replied: ‘The series isn’t over yet. We’ve got two very big games and, more than anything, it’d be wrong to look past that.
Joe Root has refused to say whether he will continue to lead England once their horror tour of Australia is over
England were dismissed for 68 as they fell 3-0 behind in the series with two games remaining
‘I’m in the middle of a very important series. My energy has to be all about trying to win the next game. I can’t be selfish and start thinking about myself.’
But Root, who described himself as ‘absolutely gutted and bitterly disappointed’, also called for a ‘reset’ in English cricket’s approach to the red-ball game at the end of a year in which they have lost a national-record nine Test matches.
‘It’s a big part of where the game is at in our country right now that the only place you can really learn is in the hardest environment for what is quite a young batting group,’ he said.
‘They’re having to learn out here in the harshest environments. You look back at 2015 and the reset that happened in white-ball cricket, and maybe that’s something that needs to be happening in our red-ball game as well.’
Root has not been the problem as only two players in history have scored more runs in a calendar year
Root himself has not been the problem: only Mohammad Yousuf and Viv Richards have scored more than his 1,708 Test runs in a calendar year.
But no one else has totalled more than 530 for England, and Root called for his team to finish the tour on a better note, starting with next week’s fourth Test at Sydney.
‘You’ve got to front up, make sure you stay very strong, and looking to improve all areas of our game, individually and collectively.
‘You have to have a really strong inner belief and we need to put some pride back into the badge, to give people back home something to celebrate from this tour.
‘It’s bitterly disappointing to be 3-0 down, but we have to come away from this tour with a couple of wins.’
Skipper Root also called for a ‘reset’ in English cricket’s approach to the red-ball game