Joe Root speaks to Sky Sports about a dramatic year in his Test career, explaining he has no regrets about resigning as captain, talks about rediscovering the joy of cricket, a key part of ‘Bazball’ that was overlooked seen, and the confidence of regaining the famous urn in the Ashes next summer.
Root stepped down as captain in April after five years as captain, having succeeded Sir Alastair Cook. He finished with most matches (67) and wins (27) as England men’s test captain. But he left after England won just one of their previous 17 Test matches, including a 4-0 series defeat in Australia.
He spoke of the “huge impact” of that battle and the effect it had on his family.
Root said: “We didn’t deliver. We didn’t deliver what I thought we could do. And personally, it had a huge impact on me outside of cricket as well.
“I couldn’t leave him in the car or on the ground. I wasn’t really home and it wasn’t fair to my family, the people I was closest to, and it wasn’t fair to myself either.
“If you can’t even be yourself, then you’re not capable of giving what that role requires, leading the right way or leading a group of players.”
Root has no regrets about his decision and says he has “given everything” as captain of the national side.
“For a number of reasons, it was the right thing to do – take a step back. It takes someone to give it their all.
“As soon as I made that decision, it was pretty clear it was the right one, and I haven’t looked back. I gave my all to that role and threw everything at it. I’m really proud of the way I work gone.” Which.”
“The Thing That Gets Overlooked at Bazball”
Root mentions how “refreshing” it is to play under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, who have developed a unique attacking approach to Test cricket. The pair won six of their seven home Test matches and continued the successful summer by completing a historic series of whitewash in Pakistan this week.
When asked about “Bazball,” Root laughed. The name is widely used by the fans in England – and was inspired by McCullum’s attacking philosophy of winning at any cost, with part of the name (Baz) being derived from McCullum’s nickname as a player.
Root said, “It’s an interesting one! Whatever you want to call it, it was a lot of fun to play, and I think it must be pretty hard to play against – knowing what score to put down.
“It felt like sometimes we could score six, seven runs and overs, and when that’s the case you feel like anything is possible. You can chase anything and even in a game that looks like it could be a draw, when you can score 200 plus in a session, it doesn’t feel like that’s really a result option anymore.
“I think Brendon has a very aggressive approach to how to play the game, I think Ben is even more aggressive! It’s exciting.
“I think one thing that’s been overlooked is there have been times where we recognized important play and had to absorb some pressure. Six overs where previously you lost maybe two wickets and the game goes massively in the opposing favour. thrown.
“Everyone will see how many boundaries we’ve scored, or how quickly we’ve moved on and picked the positive option more often, but I think it’s been just as important how we recognized those moments. We’ve absorbed it and counted it when needed used to be.
‘Having fun in what you do is so important’
Root also explained the difference in the team’s approach to cricket and how remembering their love and enjoyment of the game has improved performance.
“When you’re 10, 12, or even younger, you’re playing in the backyard — that’s the feeling you get — that raw fun of hitting the ball, fast bowling, or spinning for miles. That’s something you should never really lose as a player,” said the former England captain.
“It’s easy to forget, in the hype of the pressurized environments and the demands of constant performance and winning. But it’s so important that you enjoy what you’re doing, and you’re more likely to get the best out of yourself and get the most out of it.” is something we’ve been paying quite a lot of attention to this summer.”
Root’s career as Test captain got off to a great start in 2017 when he scored 190 on his captaincy debut in the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s. Later in 2018, one of the big highlights as leader came when they won a 4-1 home series against India. Another highlight was a 3-1 win in South Africa in 2020.
But two 4-0 Ashes series defeats in Australia were among the lows under Root’s leadership. As captain, he failed to win the Ashes as the home series was drawn in 2019.
One of his best performances came in 2021 when he scored 1708 runs in 15 games, including six centuries in the calendar year when he was named ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year.
Reflecting on that period, he said: “I think last summer was probably one of the most enjoyable periods of my career from a playing point of view, to be on that team, probably because of the way the last few years have gone, the contrast of it – and just to be able to relax now and offer some leadership skills in a slightly different way.”
“Everything gets going around an Ashes series”
The first Ashes test next summer begins in Edgbaston on June 16, with England hoping to get the urn back for the first time since 2015. And the former skipper understands how “special” an Ashes summer is for England fans.
“Everything is going up,” he said. “The interest in Test cricket in this country is ramping up a notch. To start in Edgbaston too – an incredible atmosphere has been created in that ground so it’s shaping up to be a very special summer of cricket, and Test cricket in particular, making it an Ashes summer .”
The series then moves on to Lord’s (June 28-July 2) and Headingley (July 6-10), the scene of Stokes’ 2019 heroics, before concluding at Emirates Old Trafford (July 19-23) and The Kia Oval ( July 27). -31).
Looking ahead to next summer, Root said: “It’s a great opportunity for us and how we played our cricket under Ben last summer, it’s a really exciting place to be with such a big series coming up.
“If we can perform like that in our own circumstances, we’re in a really good space, so hopefully we can go ahead and keep learning, developing and getting more and more confident in those kinds of situations and playing that way.”
“We’ve proven to ourselves that we can do it against two of the best teams in the world in our own circumstances, so it will be great to take on Australia and take it one step further.”