Joe Root’s report card as England captain

 Joe Root’s report card as England captain

Joe Root, David Malan (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Joe Root has played down the talks surrounding his future as England’s Test captain after losing the Ashes series on Tuesday (December 28) in Melbourne. The visitors suffered a humiliating innings and 14-run loss in the third Test as debutant Scott Boland’s six wickets in four overs bundled England for just 68 in the second innings.

Root has had a dream year with the bat but has lacked support from the rest of the teammates. However, when quizzed about his future as England captain, Root said it would be ‘selfish’ to discuss his captaincy future with the ongoing Ashes yet to be completed.

The 30-year-old has been at the helm since 2017 and has captained England in 59 Test matches. He thus has joined his predecessor Sir Alastair Cook and is only one of the five men to captain England in more than 50 Tests.

Michael Atherton was the first to reach the landmark followed by Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss, who led the team in 51 and 50 Tests respectively.

Meanwhile, Root has managed to register 27 wins during his tenure. He recently surpassed Vaughan, who has 26 Test wins. However, his win percentage of 46 per cent is lower than Strauss and Vaughan, who had a win percentage of 51 and 48 per cent respectively.

Root’s batting average of 47.47 as England captain though is higher than all his predecessors, who have captained England in more than 50 Tests. The 30-year-old scored 1708 runs at an incredible average of 61 in 2021. However, the team’s batting average under his captaincy is just 29.10 runs per wicket, lower than Atherton (29.87), and also well below Cook, Strauss, and Vaughan.

England have passed 400 on only eight occasions out of 86 completed innings in which Root has captained England. Under his leadership, the team has a rather unwanted record as they have been bowled out eight times below 120 or less. Currently, Root is on par with Cook as most matches as Test captain. If he plays the entire Ashes, he will leapfrog India’s MS Dhoni in the list. Graeme Smith is the only player to lead a team in more than 100 Tests. He led South Africa in 108 Tests, winning 53 of those.

Rinish William

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