March 28, 2022
(Reuters) – Former England captain Michael Atherton said current skipper Joe Root should step down following Sunday’s 10-wicket defeat by the West Indies in the deciding third test.
England have won just one of their previous 17 tests and the pressure had been mounting on Root even before their 1-0 series defeat in the Caribbean, which followed a 4-0 thrashing by Australia in the Ashes series.
“As was obvious to anyone who was in Australia, and should have been obvious to anyone who wasn’t, Root has reached the end of the road as captain,” Atherton wrote in The Times.
“A change will not cure all ills — this is a poor team and England are paying the price for the neglect of the first-class game — but there simply comes a time when a captain has nothing new to say, no new methods of motivating his players and a different voice or different style is required.
“He had reached that point at the end of the Ashes and nothing has changed.”
Root wants to continue in the role but another former skipper, Nasser Hussain, said it was time for a change.
“The England captaincy was the best job in the world and it is not one you keep doing simply because there is a perception no one else is capable of taking over,” Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.
“We’re talking about the England captaincy. It is too important for that.”
Michael Vaughan said England would lose nothing by replacing Root as captain.
“What are we going to miss? We are not going to miss his runs because he will keep scoring those,” the former skipper wrote in The Telegraph.
“Are we going to miss his tactics in the middle? No.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)