Joe Root insisted he would wait until the end of the Ashes tour to discuss his future as a test captain and called on English cricket to “reset” its approach to the red ball format, after Australia claimed a league victory in 12 days .
In the wake of England’s defeat in innings at Melbourne, an unassailable 3-0 score line sealed by an embarrassing collapse to 68 all out on the third morning, Root was asked if he wanted to continue in a role that has brought an English record of 27 test wins but seven defeats from eight in Australia.
“The series is not over yet. We have two very big matches and more than anything else it would be wrong to look past it,” replied Root, who was among the victims when debutant Scott Boland managed remarkable bowling figures of six for seven from four overs.
“I’m in the middle of a very important series. My energy should only be about trying to win the next match. I can not be selfish and start thinking about myself. I think more than anything else that you will have to stay by trying to do everything we can to get the players the best possible place to go and win test matches. ”
Rod had previously been removed for 28 during the 80-minute carnage, meaning his own personal annus mirabilis with the bat was missing 80 runs to break Mohammad Yousuf’s test record of 1,788 in a calendar year. In the end, others have fallen short here, with Rory Burns falling in Melbourne, the second-best with 530 races in 2021. On the third morning, they also recorded their 54th duck in 2021, which equates to a record set in 1998.
This was also England’s ninth defeat since the beginning of January, which equates to another record for a calendar year. In 2016, after eight test losses, the year ended with a dull Alastair Cook retiring from the captaincy.
It may be that the decision has been taken out of Roots’ hands, with both he and head coach Chris Silverwood set to have their positions reviewed by Ashley Giles when the director of men’s cricket arrives in Australia next week before the fourth Test.
The problems seem to go beyond the captain and the coach, but with this latest Ashes truncing, English cricket is urging to reconsider its approach to first-class play. Root is hoping for a reboot, similar to the one that followed England’s shocking World Cup campaign in 2015 and then led to Eoin Morgan lifting the trophy four years later.
Root said: “It’s a big part of where the game is in our country right now that the only place you can really learn [to play Test cricket] is in the toughest environment for a fairly young batting group.
“They have to learn out here in the toughest environments. You look back at 2015 and the reset that happened in white-ball cricket, and maybe that is also something that needs to happen in our red ball game. ”
In the short term, the English team is dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak among the nearly 60-man tournament company, which has seen three coaches and three family members tested positive for the virus and forced to isolate, and which may still threaten the completion of a tour , which after Sydney ends with a day-night test in Hobart.
Both sets of players were approved by emergency PCR tests before the third day was allowed to begin on the MCG, with additional tests to take place over the coming days.
For Australia, the series’ internationals win a couple of rewarding months that began with a surprising victory at the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. But their captain, Pat Cummins, declined to be drawn on the future of head coach Justin Langer, whose position has been the subject of much debate over the past 12 months.
Cummins, who replaced Tim Paine before the start of the series, said: “I think we will enjoy this victory today and continue the ashes. I do not think today is the day to speculate. [Langer’s future]. We all sit down after this series. His contract is up for renewal in a few months, and then we’ll address it. “
Speaking about his side’s Ashes campaign to date, Cummins said: “It’s not just feeling like a three-zero win, it’s really feeling like we’re setting ourselves up for the next few years as well.
“We currently have seven players in the top 10 in the world – four batteries [Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, David Warner and Travis Head] and three bowlers [Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc].
“We have probably not excited about the achievements over the last few years that we probably expected of ourselves. So I think this really consolidates that we are a really good, strong test cricket side and that is a good sign for the next few years. ”