Root signals intent to continue as England captain

Cricket - Third Test - West Indies v England - National Cricket Stadium, St George's, Grenada - March 27, 2022 West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite and England's Joe Root shake hands after the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

March 27 (Reuters) - Joe Root wants to continue as England captain, he said on Sunday minutes after his team suffered an emphatic defeat to West Indies in the deciding third test of the series in Grenada. read more

Even before West Indies had secured the series 1-0 after draws in the first two tests, commentators were questioning whether Root would want to continue as captain after five years in the role.

But Root himself was adamant about his position following their 10-wicket defeat.

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"I think I've made it quite clear how I feel about this team," he said.

"I'm very passionate. I feel I've got the support of the men behind me to take the team forward. That's not changed at all."

Earlier, former England bowler Steve Harmison suggested Root should step down.

"For his own sanity he needs to have a long think about what he does with his future," Harmison said during the TV match commentary.

Although one of the world's best batters, with a test average of nearly 50, Root has rarely looked a natural leader and has earned a reputation as an unimaginative captain.

Harmison said that for all the talk of Root's tactical nous in the field, or lack of it, he was hardly to blame for England's frequent struggles with the bat.

"It's not his fault we keep crumbling under pressure and lose 10 wickets in a session," he said.

Root acknowledged the poor top order batting performances in Grenada.

"I don't think we quite read the surface as well as we could have individually," he said.

"We didn't get to grips with it out here this week. We have made some big strides in that department but there is a lot of work still to be done."

The Caribbean series loss against a lowly West Indies team ranked eighth in the world comes on the heels of a 4-0 drubbing by Australia in the Ashes.

Some pundits have questioned whether Root remains captain because nobody else apart from perhaps Ben Stokes is guaranteed a spot in the team, and Stokes has not expressed any interest in the role.

But England have won only one of their past 17 tests overall, and it remains to be seen whether their new managing director and head coach, whoever they turn out to be, back Root continuing as captain.

Root acknowledged that no matter how much he wants to lead England for a busy home summer of tests starting in barely two months, it may not be up to him.

"I don't think it is ever in your hands completely," he said.

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Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina Editing by Toby Davis

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