New posts sign in menu 

Cricket News

Joe Root reckons the Ashes tour of Australia will define his captaincy

by  Neel Ashar  •  Last updated on 2021-12-07 14:33:34


Captain Joe Root reckons England's side has the ability to win huge moments in a quest to win the Ashes in Australia, and that it would be naive for him to ignore the fact that this series will define him. Root will go out at the Gabba on Wednesday as the world's top-ranked Test batsman in remarkable form, for his third tour and second as a captain (his first was his first overseas tour as a leader).

His 1455 runs in 12 matches at an average of 66.13 are already the fourth-most by an English batter in a calendar year, and in Sydney's fourth Test, he'll pass Alastair Cook as the country's most-capped skipper. But he has yet to record a Test century in Australia, and England is hunting its first Ashes series triumph away from home in a decade.

The ascension of Pat Cummins to Australia's captaincy adds another dimension, with their head-to-head rivalry looming as a significant aspect.

Root said- "Absolutely it is, you look at how hard it has been for English captains and English teams over the years," Root, who led a team that lost 4-0 in Australia's last home Ashes series, said.

"It's been something that doesn't happen very often. Of course, it will define my captaincy - I'm not naive enough to think that it won't - but again, what a great opportunity."

In his favour is the comeback of allrounder Ben Stokes, who impressed with bat and ball in a warm-up game last week, marking an essential first step back into cricket after a layoff since July.

For their pace battery, which may comprise either of Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, or Ollie Robinson to partner the veteran duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the latter two have an extensive familiarity of Australian conditions.

Stokes' flair for the big occasion was on display at Headingley in 2019, and a talented group of batters are eager to follow in his footsteps.

The skipper added: "Yeah, it has to be, absolutely it does," Root remarked when questioned if England was ready to win the crunch moments. "You look at some of the players, some of the individuals, some of the performances guys have put in ... the senior guys have done it time and time again. The junior guys have shown glimpses of what they can do and their potential. What better stage to really grab a series and make an announcement on the international stage. I'm an Ashes player and I want to live in the history of this great rivalry. That carrot is there for everyone."

When asked if he would pick an all-out fast bowling attack for a Gabba green-top and leave spinner Jack Leach out, Root is still to make up his mind.