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The highs and lows of Joe Root’s England captaincy

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Root’s tenure as England Men’s Tests captain ended after the batter announced his resignation on Friday morning.

The batter’s five years on the job brought a number of historic successes as well as disappointing failures, including England’s failure to win back the Ashes.

Here we look back at some of the key moments of Root’s reign…

South Africa 2017

Root was named England captain in February 2017 following Alastair Cook’s decision to step down, having been vice-half-half since 2015 and clearly heir apparent.

He had to wait until the first Test of the summer at Lord’s in early July to lead the side for the first time, but scored the occasion with a stunning 190 – the highest score by an England captain on his first match in charge – while England won by 211 runs.

Despite a beating in the second Test at Trent Bridge that drew early criticism from former captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain, England secured a 3-1 series win.

AFP via Getty Images

Ashes 2017/18

Root was against him for his first Ashes series as captain, with what was generally accepted to be a sub-par team further weakened by the absence of vice-captain and all-around star Ben Stokes following the incident at Bristol nightclub. .

There would be no underdog triumph as the tourists were beaten 4-0, with Root’s streak ending not on the playing field at the Sydney cricket ground but on the dressing room sickbed, having been hospitalized with viral gastroenteritis on the morning of the last day before returning to battle in a brave half-century, then retiring sick.

India 2018

On paper, Root’s second summer at home as captain brought perhaps the series’ greatest triumph of his reign as England beat world No. 1 India 4-1.

While overshadowed by his counterpart Virat Kohli’s brilliance with the bat, Root ended the summer with a low-key century in a fifth Test at the Oval best remembered for the parting ton of Cook and James Anderson surpassing Glenn McGrath’s all-time record for most Tests. wickets by a fast bowler.

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Ashes 2019

An epic summer of cricket began with Root playing a crucial role in England’s ODI World Cup victory under Eoin Morgan, but a thrilling Ashes streak was finally ended with him becoming the first ever captain English since 2001 not to win the Ashes at home.

Headingley’s heroism and victory from Stokes in the fifth Test with the urn already gone at least salvaged a 2-2 draw, but Root’s captaincy was regularly criticized throughout the summer, particularly regarding England’s failure to come up with a plan to destabilize Steve Smith. .

South Africa 2019/20

The winter tour of South Africa brought the peak moment of optimism in Root’s tenure as an inexperienced squad battled not to lose the first test amid a bout of illness in the camp to ensure a Memorable 3-1 win in new head coach Chris Silverwood’s opener. series in charge.

Stokes continued his sensational form from the summer, while a number of young stars – Dom Bess, Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley – would at some point make their mark on the series, suggesting a bright future. It did not materialize.

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Pandemic summer 2020

The summer of 2020 saw England record victories in home series behind closed doors against Pakistan and West Indies, as the ambassadorial aspect of the role Root played so well came to the fore.

The captain was a leading voice in support of the NHS and helped orchestrate the iconic show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement alongside the West Indies as sport returned for the first time post-lockdown.

However, the series also ushered in an era of bio-secure bubbles and Covid complications that would disrupt the rest of Root’s tenure.

Sri Lanka 2020/21

The 2018 win in Sri Lanka ended a torrid start to Root’s away reign as captain, with victory coming after he failed to win any of his first seven away matches. foreign.

Returning two years later, his captaincy appeared to be gaining momentum as the Tourists made it four straight series hits, while scores of 228 and 186 marked the start of a remarkable purple smudge for hitter Root.

While his personal run would continue, England’s would soon crumble miserably.

India 2021

England began their crunch streak against India with a brilliant win in Chennai as Root scored another smooth double century.

However, things quickly unfolded thereafter, as England’s controversial rest and rotation policy – implemented over Root’s head – took effect, with Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali leaving the mid-series tour as the tourists were hammered in each of the remaining three tests.

Ahead of India’s return visit this summer, Root said it was time to put aside the rest and rotation policy. 89 between Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah doomed the hosts on the final day.

Ashes 2021/22

Root became the first Englishman in over a century to lead a second Ashes series away from home, but it would prove the nadir of his reign as England were blown away, beaten in 12 days of cricket and only avoiding narrowly a daub in a 4-0 defeat.

England blundered when selecting the team and reading the terms, while Root was embroiled in a public row with his bowlers over their laps and even found his best form with the bat the dropping out as he again failed to reach triple figures Down Under.

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West Indies 2022

Despite the layoffs of head coach Chris Silverwood, batting coach Graeme Thorpe and general manager Ashley Giles, Root survived to lead the team in the Caribbean through something of an in-between series before a slated for revamp. summer at home.

Senior bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were controversially left at home in a decision that backfired as England’s attack struggled on lifeless pitches in the first two Tests drawn at the spell.

The return of old failures and the defeat in the Third marked the end of the road.


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