Joe Root stepped
down as England Test captain with more wins than any of his compatriots. He relinquished the captaincy with 27 wins on Friday. He also suffered 26 losses
and failed to win a single Ashes series in Australia.
batter scored more runs in a calendar year in 2021 than any Englishman ever,
yet England lost a record-equalling number of Tests.
As he has quit
Test captaincy, Opoyi takes a look at his journey as a skipper.
Appointed skipper as former captain Alastair Cook’s replacement, Root made a flying
start. He scored 190 on his captaincy debut against South Africa at Lord’s in
the summer of 2017. It was the highest score by an England captain on their
captaincy debut. England won the series 3-1. Root finished the series with a
staggering 461 runs at an average of 57.62.
In a five-Test
series in 2018 when India toured England, the tourists were considered a strong
side. But despite Kohli’s individual brilliance, England hammered India 4-1 in
the series. Root’s own form with the bat was not very impressive, but a hundred
in the final Test added to the general air of euphoria engendered by Cook’s
career-ending ton – predicted by his skipper on the eve of the game – and James Anderson becoming Test cricket’s most prolific pace bowler.
in Sri Lanka
in subcontinent conditions haunted England batters for years. So, in the 2018
tour of Sri Lanka, Root had plenty to prove in away conditions. Before the 2018
Sri Lanka tour, England had played seven Tests in the island nations and lost
five while playing out two draws. But in that tour, England hammered Sri Lanka
3-0, with Ben Foakes highest scoring for the visitors. Root joined the party
with an aggressive ton at a key point in the series-clinching second Test.
captaincy tenure, Root failed to win a Test in Australia. In the recent Ashes
series, England suffered a 4-0 defeat to Australia. Root, who raised England’s
hope with series wins in Sri Lanka, South Africa and India, became an overnight
Losing to India
Ahead of India
tour Root had overseen four straight series wins, an achievement last managed
by the peak-era Andrew Strauss team of 2011. But that accounted for comfortably
more than half his series runs, and despite being able to call on an attack of
no little variety, his own remarkable 5-8 in the second of three subsequent
maulings at the expert hands of Ravichandran Ashwin and Co was more
eye-catching than anything he could squeeze from his team-mates in the field.
Undone by India
for Root and England to take revenge was quick, but morale was hardly helped
by defeat to New Zealand in the two-match support act to last summer’s main
event, nor by Stokes’ announcement a few days before the first Test he was
taking an indefinite break. Rohit Sharma’s hundred and a devastating final-day
Jasprit Bumrah spell gave them the fourth and a 2-1 lead which proved to be
decisive – at least until the rescheduled game has been played this summer –
after COVID scuppered the Old Trafford finale.
Root was back in
Australia for the 2021-2022 Ashes tour and lost the series 4-0. The defeat
raised questions about Root’s captaincy. A 1-0 series defeat to West Indies in
the Caribbean further dented Root’s image which eventually forced him to quit