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‘Can’t keep happening’ – Root demands change but vows to continue as captain

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Joe Root believes he’s still the right man to lead England’s Test team in the wake of failing to win the 2019 Ashes series.

He has also demanded that his “inexperienced” team learn quickly from their mistakes ahead of their final match of the series, which starts at The Oval on Thursday, September 12.

Australia, who retained the urn after clinching a 185-run defeat in the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Sunday, now lead the series 2-1. Root, who also oversaw a 4-0 defeat Down Under in 2017-18, has come in for criticism from some quarters.

Writing in The Telegraph, Geoffrey Boycott, the former England opening batsman and pundit, opined that his fellow Yorkshireman “lacks any feel for captaincy” and that his leadership was “very disappointing”.

Boycott also believed that the leadership may be having a negative effect on the form of England’s premier batsman, who has scored 247 runs from eight innings at 30.87 in the series so far. Root, however, has no plans to relinquish the Test captaincy.

“I definitely want to carry on as captain,” Root told reporters after the heavy loss. “I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to captain the Test side and will continue to work hard at doing my best at that.

“That is in my control. I have to make sure I do everything I can to get this team in the best shape to win as many games as possible. Whenever you lose a series, it hurts. I’ve to take that on the chin. You have to look at areas you want to get better at, both in yourself and as a team.

“When you find yourself in a situation like today you learn a lot about your team. In many ways we were an inexperienced team. We have to learn quickly. We were not as good as we would have liked to be or consistent throughout the whole game.

“This can’t keep happening. You are not going to win many games if you start behind. There is still plenty to learn for this group.”

Australia will bid to clinch their first Ashes series in England since 2001 this week.

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