Monday, November 29

What will make Joe Root a great test captain? Ashes glory, says Silverwood | England v India 2021


TO A bit like telling someone you love him and being told ‘I love spending time with you too,’ Chris Silverwood was asked on Sunday if Joe Root is a great England captain and he replied, ‘I think he’s a good England captain. tests, yes. “

It was an amusing response, as England’s head coach reflected on his team’s beautiful inning win against India at Headingley, one that ended a seven-round series without a win and puts this alluring level of the series before the fourth test on the oval, which begins. Thursday.

The question was sparked by Root surpassing Michael Vaughan’s record number of victories as England captain with his 27th. Vaughan has since said that greatness here is defined by Ashes’ victories (his former apprentice has yet to oversee one) and, in what feels like a very Yorkshire conversation, Silverwood seems to agree.

“It’s great that Joe has that record,” Silverwood said. “No one can take that away from him now. It has succeeded. And obviously, we are going to Australia. [this winter] and if we win there we can have this conversation again. But I think there is potential for him to be one of the great captains of England, yes. “

Root would probably agree and, at the very least, this discussion shows how quickly the narrative can change. After all, his captaincy was the subject of much criticism at Lord’s a week earlier after a final day in which England unnecessarily tried to force India’s tail with vengeance and saw it explode in their faces in a heartbreaking 151-race loss.

He may have 55 tests in his tenure, only Alastair Cook went further at 59, but being transported to the planet England when he was 21 in 2012, and only fleetingly seen in Yorkshire since then, means that Root has learned on the job. Last week, between Tests, this meant reflecting on those poorly judged tactics, but also the unnecessary verbs the England players had engaged in.

Chris Silverwood and Joe Root during a networking session at Lord's.
Chris Silverwood and Joe Root during a networking session at Lord’s. Photograph: Paul Childs / Action Images / Reuters

Silverwood said. “He learns as he goes along and that’s a great trait a captain must have: reflect honestly and make a difference. And it has certainly made a difference in this game.

“There was controlled aggression: the way they hit hard, the way they pushed the tail of India and forced them to make decisions all the time. I think you can be aggressive in a very controlled way and I think they did well ”.

What’s not up for debate is Root’s current form and when the next update to the ICC batting rankings is updated, chances are high that his third century in a row, and sixth this year, will see the 30-year-old take down. New Zealander Kane Williamson from the top. Root has been the best scorer in England’s five innings in this series, ending suggestions that the captaincy affects his performance.

Along with a better reception, the victory at Leeds also featured green shoots of recovery for the rest of England’s batting lineup. A total of 432 in response to India’s 78 was a slight disappointment after reaching 298 for two, but with each of the top four surpassing 50 for the first time since 2013, Root finally had some support.

Aside from the captain’s brilliant 121, Rory Burns making a fluid 61 and Jimmy Anderson setting up the match with three wickets on the first morning, this handbrake spin was also based on four players sitting outside at the start of the year.

Ollie Robinson, man of the match with seven casualties, was certainly in the setup, though he had yet to make his debut. But Haseeb Hameed, who made an encouraging 68, Dawid Malan, 70 on his return to No. 3, and Craig Overton, six wickets and 32 runs, sat well in the pecking order until injuries and collapse forced a reorganization.

Ben Stokes’ absence for mental health reasons also left a huge void and not just in terms of winning performances or the balance he brings. Test cricket is a non-contact sport, but England missed the physicality of the off-roader on the field – that was until two giant closures at Robinson and Overton were combined.

Silverwood said: “They are both big guys, physically, and they both have great character. And when they’re there, you can see they come out for them, they both go into battle, which is great for the players, there’s a lot of energy there. They are relentless with what they do with their skills and I think that kind of physique and character that comes with them gives you a presence on the field. “

It may not be the team England envisioned when they kicked off their monstrous 2021 and there is still a lot of work to be done against a quality team from India that will be suffering. But the series is square and Root finally has some rewards for his efforts this summer.


www.theguardian.com

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