Geoffrey Boycott gives verdict on Joe Root’s captaincy

Former English cricketer Geoffrey Boycott feels that Joe Root was never the right fit for England’s Test captaincy. He feels that even though Root was admired by many because of his behavior, he did not have the pre-emptive intellect to be a Test skipper.

Root stepped down as England’s Test captain on April 16. The 31-year-old had succeeded Alastair Cook as the captain in 2017 and concluded his tenure with most matches (64) and most wins (27) as an English Test skipper. But England’s recent form in the longest format of the game has been very poor.

“Tactically Joe has not got it and never had it. If it’s not there I don’t believe you can learn it. It is instinct, a feel for the changing situations of a match and some experience helps. Setting fields and getting bowlers to bowl to them is crucial to any chance of winning. Having different plans for every opposition batsman is vital,” wrote Boycott in his column for The Telegraph on Monday.

“Captaincy is tactical awareness and man management of players. The players and public all like Joe so a dressing room with Joe in charge is bound to be a good place, but that alone doesn’t win matches. Being smart and clever with a cricket brain has more impact,” he added.

In their last 17 Test matches, England managed to win just a single game. They lost the Ashes series miserably by 4-0, followed by a defeat against West Indies by 1-0. There had been speculations around Root’s captaincy, and he decided to step down eventually.

Boycott, who played 108 Tests, felt that giving up on the captaincy might not have been an easy decision for Root as he did not let his captaincy affect his performance with the bat. The former cricketer also feels that England will continue to struggle in the Test format even after a new captain is appointed as their past performances will keep haunting them.

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