It's clear that the captaincy isn't having an effect on Root's batting: Woakes

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30 Dec 2021 | 03:11 AM
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It's clear that the captaincy isn't having an effect on Root's batting: Woakes

The seam-bowling allrounder wants Joe Root to continue as England's Test skipper

Seam-bowling allrounder Chris Woakes wants Joe Root to continue as England’s Test captain despite being hammered by Australia in the ongoing Ashes series.  Root's men were the fastest to surrender the Urn after they were skittled out for just 68 on day three of the third Test to lose the match by an innings and 14 runs. England lost the first two Tests by nine wickets and 275 runs at Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.

Asked if the players are still willing to back Root as their Test leader, Woakes said: “Absolutely! Joe is a great cricketer, he's got a great cricket brain and I think his record as England captain is actually pretty good. Definitely, it feels like Joe will continue. Hopefully, he will. It's clear that the captaincy isn't having an effect on his batting, which a lot of the time with captains can be the case.

"The fact that he's scoring the runs he is is great for the team. It would be great if we could help him out with that and score a few more runs around him. Joe is a world-class player who has obviously had a fantastic year. When a guy bats as well as he has you would expect us to put in a lot stronger performances than we have."

The biggest reason why England lost nine Tests in 2021 -  the joint-highest by a team in a calendar year - is because of their batting. Root had a phenomenal year with the bat, smashing 1708 runs in 29 innings at an average of 63.25, but the England Test skipper hardly got any support from other batters. Apart from Root, only Dawid Malan (308 runs at 34.22) operated at an average of more than 30 in 2021.

And, talking about head coach Chris Silverwood’s position, Woakes said: "Who am I to talk about people's futures other than my own? The group of players, the management and the staff we have out here have the backing of the players to hopefully put things right, over the next two games in particular.”

Woakes himself has struggled to get going in the series. The allrounder has scored 105 runs in four innings at an average of 26.25, which is still way better than most of England’s top-order batters, and has claimed only three wickets at an average of 76. The fourth Test will be played in Sydney from January 5 before the fifth and final Test takes place in Hobart. 

"Losing the Ashes 3-0 down with two to play was not a position we'd have liked to be in so naturally, everyone is disappointed, gutted. It's a bit flat. But we have to pick ourselves up and go again. It's really difficult when a team gets on top. It's not like a Premier League game where you're playing a new opposition the next weekend. 

"You're playing the same people who've got you out, who've got runs against you, who've clearly got a good game plan that is working against you. That's when you have to show some character, we have to show some fight. As a group of players, we have to take pride in what we do."

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