Monday, 26 August 2019

Root: My team will bring the joy back to English cricket

joe root

LEEDS: It was not what Joe Root said that was so impressive when he was enthroned as England’s new Test captain on a grey afternoon at Headingley, but the clarity with which he said it. Clarity of diction stems from clarity of vision and thought. Alastair Cook was always diplomatic, and even statesmanlike, when talking about issues affecting the global game, such as the return of Pakistan’s banned bowler Mohammad Amir. But he never fully articulated a vision of how England should play, the pragmatism petering out into what Cook himself called stagnation. Root, on the other hand, was highly articulate during one-and-a-half hours of interviews, while England and Wales Cricket Board apparatchiks watched on to make sure their new leader has a safe pair of hands. Root even managed the odd jest when he said he was changing the nappy of his newborn son, Alfie, when Andrew Strauss rang to offer him the Test captaincy, adding to Nasser Hussain on Sky that he knew his hands were full by the end of the call. All the best England captains have had this clarity. Half have been Yorkshiremen, the rest south-easterners of amateur background if not status, but they have been united in combining this vision and fixity of purpose — and Root promises to be similar.

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