Michael Atherton feels it’s the end of the road for Joe Root as captain.© AFP
The England men’s cricket team suffered their sixth defeat in the last 10 Tests when they went down by 10 wickets against an inspired West Indies team in Grenada. Having drawn the first two Tests of the series, England were comprehensively beaten by the hosts, who rattled the English batting line-up in both innings of the Test to inflict a series loss. This woeful Test form has brought skipper Joe Root under the radar once again for all the wrong reasons. If a 4-0 Ashes drubbing wasn’t enough, Root is now under immense pressure following the series defeat in the Caribbean.
Many questioned Root’s captaincy, and among them was former England skipper Michael Atherton.
In a column for The Times, Atherton referred to Root’s captaincy as “untenable” as he blasted the skipper on all fronts.
“After a double failure of his own, twice out to the dobbing medium pace of Kyle Mayers, it felt like a moment to end the delusion. Root’s captaincy is untenable, and he must surely know it deep down. His team have gone five series without victory and have won only one Test in the past 17, a shocking run for a side so well resourced,” he said.
Atherton brought back the Ashes scenario into play and explained how Root had “reached the end of the road as captain.”
According to him, Root has “nothing new to say, no new methods of motivating his players” as Atherton stressed further the need for a new leader and giving Root a much-needed break.
“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. 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. It would have been a cleaner break to have finished then but that decision will now be for the new ECB managing director, with the date for applications for that vacancy having closed on Sunday,” he added.
England next play New Zealand in a three-match Test series beginning June 2 at The Lord’s.
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