'I couldn't leave it in the car or at the cricket ground' – Root happy to release England captaincy shackles

By Sports Desk June 05, 2022

Joe Root admitted the England Test captaincy had started to negatively impact his personal life after starring in his first international without being skipper against New Zealand.

Root stepped down as red-ball skipper following series defeat to West Indies, leaving England with just one win in their last 17 Tests.

Ben Stokes was subsequently appointed to lead his country in the longest format, with New Zealand great Brendon McCullum charged with transforming England's fortunes in the five-day game.

The new leadership pair's country of birth posed England's first task of the new era, and it was the familiar face of Root who delivered at the crucial time in the first Test.

Root became only the second England batter to score 10,000 runs in the longest format with an unbeaten 115, guiding Stokes' side to chase 277 and take a 1-0 series lead in the three-match series.

Yorkshireman Root is also the 14th player to reach that milestone and achieved the feat at exactly the same age – 31 years and 157 days – as his former team-mate and captain Alastair Cook.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, much of Root's focus was on the impact of not having to stress about the captaincy in his first Test without skippering duties.

"It was tough to step down as captain but I'd thrown everything at it, every bit of myself into it and it had started to have an unhealthy effect on the rest of my life," he said.

"I couldn't leave it in the car or at the cricket ground. It wasn't fair on myself or my family and I want to enjoy my cricket. It's a role that needs so much energy and you can see that within Ben."

The century was also Root's first in the fourth innings of a Test match, and he was delighted to deliver for both England and Stokes.

"I had thrown everything at it [captaincy] and I was determined to help turn this team around. But I realised over that time at home that it would have to be in a different way," he told reporters.

"I'm very excited to do that now, to do everything I can to help Ben turn this team around and make it the force it should and can be.

"I'll do anything I can to help England win Test matches and be a side people enjoy watching and can be proud of.

"It got to the stage where it was time for someone else to lead. I threw absolutely everything at the role. I'm proud of the way that I tried to do that."

Meanwhile, former Australia Test captain Mark Taylor believes Root can surpass India legend Sachin Tendulkar's record 15,921 runs in red-ball internationals.

"Root has minimum five years left in him, so I think Tendulkar's record is very achievable," Taylor told Sky Sports.

"He is batting as well as I have ever seen him bat over the last 18 months to two years.

"He is in the prime of his career, so there is 15,000 runs-plus for him if he stays healthy."

Related items

  • Benzema overtakes Raul in Real Madrid's all-time scorers list Benzema overtakes Raul in Real Madrid's all-time scorers list

    Karim Benzema became Real Madrid's outright second-highest goalscorer as he overtook Raul by netting in the Super Cup.

    Benzema tied level in second place on the club's list of scorers back in May, when he equalled Los Blancos great Raul on 323 goals with a header in a 6-0 rout of Levante.

    He is now alone in second, on 324, after netting Madrid's second against Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday in Helsinki.

    With David Alaba having put Madrid ahead in the first half, Benzema made it 2-0 in the 65th minute as he struck up with Vinicius Junior for a familiar combination.

    Vinicius assisted Benzema 10 times last season, and the Brazil winger's cross from the left side of the area presented Madrid's new club captain with the chance to side-foot home a first-time finish that crept through Kevin Trapp.

    Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a remarkable 450 goals during his nine-year spell at Santiago Bernabeu between 2009 and 2018, stands ahead of Benzema, though it would seem unlikely the 34-year-old France striker will go on to match that record.

     

  • Nunez gives Liverpool a 'fantastic mix' in attack, says Milner Nunez gives Liverpool a 'fantastic mix' in attack, says Milner

    James Milner believes the addition of Darwin Nunez means Liverpool have a "fantastic mix" in attack this season.

    Nunez, signed from Benfica for a fee of £64million (€75m), with a further £21.4m (€25m) in potential add-ons, marked his first Premier League appearance for the Reds at the weekend with a goal in the 2-2 draw at Fulham.

    That followed his goal in the 3-1 Community Shield victory over Manchester City a week earlier.

    Nunez joins Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and fellow new signing Fabio Carvalho in attack as Liverpool look to mount Premier League and Champions League challenges again this term.

    Milner is excited by what Nunez offers and believes Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has a tantalising group of forward players to choose from.  

    "I think he'll have an impact the whole time he's here, to be honest," Milner told Liverpool’s official website.

    "Since he's been here, he's been impressive on the field, worked hard, makes great runs and is desperate to put his head on the ball in the box.

    "If you put a ball in there, he'll do everything he can to get on the end of it – good finisher, both feet and he's different to the other boys up there.

    "We've already got some very exciting attacking players who can cause problems, so he's a great addition. He'll be fantastic for us.

    "You want options up there, you want to cause people problems, and you want to have options to play different ways because obviously teams are going to watch us and try to stop us, so it's important we can do everything.

    "With the options we have up there, I think we have a fantastic mix."

    Liverpool are next in action on Monday when Crystal Palace visit Anfield in the Premier League. 

  • Lewis remains out of contention for Windies - chief of selectors  confirms player staying away from fitness tests Lewis remains out of contention for Windies - chief of selectors confirms player staying away from fitness tests

    Promising top-order batsman Evin Lewis continues to remain ineligible for selection to the West Indies squad after reportedly not taking the required fitness tests ahead of the New Zealand series.

    Once considered a replacement built in the mold of T20 Chris Gayle for the shorter formats, the big-hitting left-hander has not appeared for the regional team since November of last year when they faced Australia in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

    The issues first began for the 30-year-old in 2020 when it was announced that Lewis along with another batsman Shimron Hetmyer had failed a fitness test ahead of the team’s tour of Sri Lanka.

    Lewis, however, rebounded strongly to put in a strong performance against Sri Lanka in March of last year, scoring his fourth ODI century.  On that occasion, the player credited a renewed commitment to fitness and gym work as a key part of his success.  The player went on to score 432 runs in another 15 T20 matches with an average of 31 but has not been seen in the maroon colours since the team’s failed World Cup title defense.

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Desmond Haynes confirmed that that absence would continue as the player did not complete a test for the upcoming series against New Zealand, as has been the case for a number of recent series.

     

     

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.