As if we needed any proof that Andrew Strauss reads this blog religiously, England’s MD has just announced that Joe Root will be the new test captain … literally an hour after we published Jack Mendel’s piece endorsing Stuart Broad. Thanks for that Andrew. I’m glad you took one week, rather than three, to make a decision but you could’ve given us a bit more notice.
This is now the second Monday in a row that Strauss has ruined. Last week I had a rare day off planned … until news of Cook’s resignation hit the blogosphere. It’s as if the ECB are deliberately trolling me. Arrrrrgggghhh.
Anyway, (just to get my own back) here’s what Strauss didn’t exactly say (but probably wanted to) about Root’s appointment:
We’ve monitored Joseph within the team environment for a substantial period. He embraces the culture that embodies what we all want the England culture to be. His ability to process information stood out during the process. He also has the moving forward qualities required to move England forward. His curriculum vitae hit all the right leadership areas.
On a serious note I’m glad the ECB have come to the right conclusion. Root was my man all along and the obvious choice for the job. Ben Stokes is an interesting choice as vice captain too. These guys are clearly the new leaders in the dressing room and they’re both charismatic cricketers that are popular with the public.
We can’t pretend that Root has got an easy task: the South Africans will be a tough nut to crack and the Ashes tour will be ridiculously hard work. The Aussies don’t always travel well but they’re formidable in their own backyard.
Finally, let’s not forget that England’s schedule over the next two years is ridiculous. It’s almost immoral. This winter the guys that play all three formats (which obviously includes both Root and Stokes) will be away for four months. I really hope that Joe makes a good fist of leadership, but if he fails the ECB must take a large share of the blame for prioritising revenue above everything else … including player welfare.
Look after your dodgy back Joe. And don’t forget to watch your back too. We wish you all the best.