Root steps down: Anderson hails 'one of the world's greatest batters' for captaincy balancing act

By Sports Desk April 15, 2022

James Anderson hailed Joe Root for balancing the stresses of captaincy and becoming one of the world's greatest batters, after the England Test skipper stepped down on Friday.

Root was appointed in 2017 as the successor to Alastair Cook and boasts the most wins by an England captain in the longest format of the game (27).

However, Yorkshireman Root also holds the record for the most losses as skipper of his country (26), and decided to resign following a 4-0 Ashes thrashing and 1-0 series defeat against West Indies.

A new-look England side left out Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have 1,177 Test dismissals between them, for the latter series as the tourists made it just one win in their last 17 red-ball outings.

Root's side are also without victory in their last five series, but Anderson praised his team-mate of many years for the balancing act he has managed between captaincy and his batting.

Indeed, despite England's struggles in red-ball cricket, Root racked up 1,708 runs in 2021 – the most ever by an England player in a calendar year and third-most by any player in history.

"It's been a pleasure to be part of Joe Root's England side," Anderson wrote on Instagram.

"The way he's managed to balance the responsibilities and stresses of leading the team while also becoming one of the world's greatest batters has been extraordinary.

"He is an incredible ambassador for the sport and I can't wait to see him back out in the middle where I'm certain he'll cement himself as one of the all-time greats."

Anderson will be hoping he can join Root on the field when England host New Zealand, with the first Test starting on June 2, as the 39-year-old seamer looks to return after his West Indies omission.

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