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Joe Root and England Test team need to take responsibility for poor performances, says Michael Atherton | Cricket News

Joe Root and England Test team need to take responsibility for poor performances, says Michael Atherton | Cricket News


Michael Atherton

Cricket Expert & Columnist

England have appointed Paul Collingwood as interim head coach of the men’s Test team ahead of their three-match tour of the West Indies in March; Joe Root will captain the side, with the travelling squad set to be announced this week

Last Updated: 08/02/22 6:33am


England men’s Test captain Joe Root (L) and vice-captain Ben Stokes

Michael Atherton says Joe Root and his England team need to take responsibility for their poor performances over the winter in losing the Ashes series 4-0 in Australia.

Managing director of England men’s cricket, Ashley Giles, and head coach Chris Silverwood both lost their jobs last week, with Sir Andrew Strauss replacing Giles on an interim basis and Paul Collingwood announced on Monday as coach for the upcoming three-Test tour of the West Indies.

Strauss gave Root his backing to continue as captain of the Test team for the series in the Caribbean, and while Athers agrees its “probably the right thing” to stick with him as skipper for now, he said the “focus has to come back on the players and the captain.”

Michael Atherton says Paul Collingwood's appointment as England's interim head coach 'makes sense', and believes he is a 'contender' for the permanent job

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Michael Atherton says Paul Collingwood’s appointment as England’s interim head coach ‘makes sense’, and believes he is a ‘contender’ for the permanent job

Michael Atherton says Paul Collingwood’s appointment as England’s interim head coach ‘makes sense’, and believes he is a ‘contender’ for the permanent job

On Root keeping the captaincy, Athers said: “It’s a short-term appointment as such because Strauss made it clear, he’s right behind Joe Root for now, but that appointment is very much in the hands of whoever the director of cricket will be.

“It’s probably the right thing to stick with him for now. I do think the focus has to come back on the players and the captain.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the coaches over the last few weeks, but captain and the players need to take responsibility for performance.

“Joe Root has been party to many of those decisions that have cost other people their jobs, and it’s really only a lack of alternatives that has determined that he continues to lead England in the Caribbean.

“Whether that will be the case beyond the tour, who knows? We’ll have to wait and see.”

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Atherton added: “I think there had to be some changes to the management of the team.

“As painful as it is, I think they had to make some changes given how the team have performed for the last year or so and given the way the Ashes went.”

‘Keep things simple’ for West Indies tour

England are expected to name their travelling squad for the West Indies tour this week, with the first Test set to get underway in Antigua on March 8.

Nasser Hussain says it's a 'sensible' decision to appoint Collingwood as England's interim head coach for the West Indies tour

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Nasser Hussain says it’s a ‘sensible’ decision to appoint Collingwood as England’s interim head coach for the West Indies tour

Nasser Hussain says it’s a ‘sensible’ decision to appoint Collingwood as England’s interim head coach for the West Indies tour

“I would keep things simple,” Atherton said on selection. “I would just pick what is perceived to be the best team to win three Test matches in the Caribbean.

“Stuart Broad, towards the end of the Ashes, reflected a little bit what I’d been talking about throughout the Ashes tour, that England for a period now – partly because of Covid and restrictions and bubbles – have been constantly thinking ahead, six-nine months down the line, and have rather lost sight of what’s in front of them.

“I think they do have to get back to keeping it pretty simple and trying to win the next game that is in front of them.

“From the Ashes there are not many players who can say they demand a place.

“But equally, most people would think the core of that square are amongst the best players that England have to offer.

“I’m sure that there’s going to be a nucleus of that Ashes squad that will go to the Caribbean, and there may be one or two new faces that come in, but I don’t think they’ll be ripping it up and starting again.

“They’ve got to start winning some games and picking players to do that.”





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