'I feel like the group are behind me' – Root defiant as England slump to West Indies defeat

By Sports Desk March 27, 2022

Joe Root declared he wants to keep the England Test captaincy but acknowledged the decision is not entirely in his hands after another series defeat.

Root believes team-mates remain firmly supportive of his leadership, despite a disappointing loss against West Indies.

Draws in Antigua and Barbados teed up a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, but Root's tourists were always behind after falling to 90-8 on the first day.

Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood proved unlikely heroes to drag England to 204 all out in the first innings, though a sorry bowling performance allowed West Indies, inspired by Joshua da Silva's maiden Test ton, to scramble to 297 - a lead of 93.

Further batting struggles saw the visitors skittled for just 120 second time around, leaving Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell to chase down a target of 28 in just 29 balls on Sunday, sealing a 10-wicket win.

"I've made it quite clear at the start of this game and throughout this tour that I'm very passionate about trying to take this team forward," Root said.

"I will control all that I can. I don't think it's ever in your hands completely. I feel like the group are very much behind me. We're doing a lot of really good things; we just need to turn that into results now."

England are without a win in five Test series, stretching back to a triumph over Sri Lanka at the start of last year. They are also without a win in their last nine Tests, losing six of those, which is their longest winless streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Root told BT Sport he felt a sense of "frustration", adding: "Throughout this series we've played some really good cricket, and we've shown what we're capable of as a group.

"We've grown over the first two games as a batting group, and we've shown big strides in that department, and shown what we are capable of. Yesterday really let us down, it's really hurt us, and it's an important day within the series.

"We just didn't stand up to it well enough, and unfortunately you find us in this position where we've ended up losing the series after we played so much brilliant cricket."

The England skipper added: "I thought the attitude throughout the whole thing has been brilliant – in that respect we've definitely made big improvements. That has to continue.

"There are so many good things we can take away from this. Of course, we came here to win, and we've not, and that's frustrating, that's disappointing. But if we're going to keep learning and keep growing as a team, and if we're going to start winning, then we've got to keep that approach."

 

Interim head coach Paul Collingwood, who replaced Chris Silverwood in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing, said he had observed total support for Root among England's players.

He said: "The one thing you do notice in that dressing room is that the team is together, they're right behind Joe.

"You can see all the players, all the management, and you can see Joe himself, he's got the determination to still take this team forward and get results.

"The leadership doesn't affect his batting. He's still going out there and scoring the runs and he's still desperate to turn things around and desperate to make this team the best they can be."

Regarding his own uncertain future with England, as the search continues for a permanent coach, Collingwood added: "If I was to be given the job, or they decide they want to give me the job, then I would certainly take it. I've enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to."

Related items

  • Langer hits out at Cricket Australia politics, rules over ever coaching England Langer hits out at Cricket Australia politics, rules over ever coaching England

    Justin Langer says he was tired of the "b******t politics" within Cricket Australia while he was head coach of the national team and insisted he would never coach England.

    Langer resigned in February on the back of masterminding Australia's maiden T20 World Cup triumph and a 4-0 Ashes thumping of England on home soil.

    The former opening batter turned down a short-term contract extension, bringing his reign to an end almost four years after replacing Darren Lehmann.

    Ricky Ponting, the late Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh were among the Australia greats who hit out at Cricket Australia over their treatment of Langer.

    The 51-year-old has spoken out over the issues he had to contend with, taking aim at interim Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein.

    Langer told a Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA event in Perth: "The first thing he [Freudenstein] said to me was, 'It must make you feel so good that all your mates are supporting you in the media.'

    "I said, 'Yeah it is, acting chairman, but with all due respect, those mates are also the all-time greats of Australian cricket. They are the fabric of Australian cricket. They are Australian cricket. They also work all around the world in cricket. So yeah, I'm glad my mates are looking after me. Imagine if you had have'.

    "Ironically, the last six months of my coaching career were the most enjoyable period of 12 years of coaching. Not only did we win everything, but I had energy, and I had focus, and I was happy – besides the b******t politics."

    Langer added: "It's no wonder you get tired. It's no wonder your health suffers; your mental, your physical health. You're trying to please everybody.

    "The great lesson I learned was…I cleared my desk, and all of a sudden instead of having everything on my table, I had two things on my desk. One was winning and the second thing was my people.

    "If you know people have got your back, you can achieve miracles. If they haven't, it's a very lonely place. Leadership can be very, very lonely. But it's not lonely when you know people have got your back."

    Langer was linked with England before Brendon McCullum and Matthew Mott were appointed as Test and white-ball head coaches respectively.

    Asked whether he would have taken a job with Australia's fierce rivals, Langer replied while shaking his head: "I've never spoken to English cricket. The thought of coaching England ...mate!"

  • Warrican three-for gives Pride early advantage against Red Force Warrican three-for gives Pride early advantage against Red Force

    Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican led a strong bowling performance that gave the Barbados Pride the early advantage against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championship, at Tarouba, on Wednesday.

    At the end of play, the Pride were 87 for 2, just 46 runs short of the Red Force first innings total of 133.  Barbados’ success was due in large part to Warrican’s haul of 3 for 21.  Batting first, the Red Force found themselves in early trouble after losing opener Keagan Simmons, for a duck, after just three deliveries.

    It did not take long for his opening partner Jeremy Solozano to follow, leaving the Red Force struggling on 11 for 2.  Jason Mohammed added just 12 before driving a half volley into the hands of Floyd Reifer off a delivery from Ramon Simmonds.  The trend of losing wickets at regular intervals continued when Darren Bravo was bowled for 8 after attempting to flick away Justin Greaves.

    Warrican claimed the first of his three wickets when he removed Terrence Hinds, who was stopped in his tracks on 25.  Prior to that, Imran Khan (29) also got a start alongside Joshua Da Silva but was dismissed by Simmonds just as the pair had put together a useful 41-run partnership.  Da Silva attempted to hold the innings together but continuously ran out of partners before he himself was trapped lbw by Warrican, on 23, with the Red Force limping along at 132 for 9.

    Greaves, Simmonds, and Akeem Jordan also got in on the act for the Pride, each claiming two wickets.  At the close of play, Raymon Reifer (32) and Jonathan Carter (19) were the not-out batsmen for Barbados Pride.

  • Smalling, Abraham rejoice in Roma Conference League final win Smalling, Abraham rejoice in Roma Conference League final win

    Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham both revelled in Roma's Europa Conference League triumph after defeating Feyenoord 1-0 in Wednesday's final in Tirana.

    Nicolo Zaniolo's lone goal proved the difference for the Giallorossi, chesting Gianluca Mancini's pass over the top of the defence to poke the ball home past Justin Bijlow in the 32nd minute.

    While Abraham top-scored for the team over the tournament with nine goals, Smalling turned in a man-of-the-match performance at centre-back to help secure Roma's maiden European trophy.

    One of the first in a modern wave of Englishmen playing abroad in Europe's top five leagues, Smalling was well aware of Roma's continental drought, insisting it motivated the team.

    "We knew how much it was going to mean to everybody in Rome, and you can see how together we are, everybody fought until the end," Smalling told BT Sport.

    "We had to do that on a few occasions this year, we dropped a bit deeper than we maybe wanted to but we knew we had to do everything. You could see, strikers running back, everybody defending and we knew we had to win.

    "Even when I first came to the club it had been a long time since they won a trophy, you can hear the fans. We knew how much it was going to mean, you can see we've got some of the best fans."

    Abraham had previously stated he was reticent to play in the Serie A, believing it would take him out of the frame for England selection.

    With 27 goals in 52 games in all competitions this season, Abraham is part of Gareth Southgate's squad for the June international window along with Fikayo Tomori, who this weekend wrapped up the Serie A title with Milan.

    The 24-year-old Abraham believes Roma deserved their victory on the night, while his reception in Italy has inspired him.

    "One thing I said when I came here was I was going to help the team get to the final and one day I want to win a trophy," Abraham also told BT Sport. "In my first season I have achieved that.

    "Credit to my team-mates, excellent performances. We deserve it. We have worked hard all year.

    "I love them (the fans). From day one I came here it has been the best. We are champions, I am happy to be a part of the team, now it is time to celebrate and enjoy."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.