16/05/2022May 17 LIVE
A look at the numbers behind Joe Root’s reign as England Test captain
He had 27 wins and 26 losses during his spell in charge.
Joe Root has stepped down as England’s Test captain after five years in the role.
The 31-year-old resigns with a number of favourable records, but a disastrous 12 months of red-ball cricket essentially made his position untenable.
Here, the PA news agency looks at his record and what went wrong.
Wins as skipper
Root hands over the helm with a record of 27 wins under his belt from 64 Tests. He just comes away with a positive record after racking up 26 losses including a defeat to the West Indies in Grenada last month which sealed his fate. Root made a positive start to life as captain after replacing Alastair Cook, winning four of his first five Tests. But a dismal end with one win in his last 17 matches, and none since August 2021, left the 30-year-old feeling his race was run.
Most Tests as captain – how does he compare
Root set the record for most Tests as England skipper, five more than Cook, and also boasted a better win percentage of 42.18 per cent than his predecessor with 40.67. Of captains to have led the team in over 30 Tests, only Michael Vaughan (50.98 per cent) and Mike Brearley (58.06 per cent) have better win rates than Root. But while Root boasts more wins than any other England captain, he also registered more defeats.
Did his batting suffer with the role?
Root got the job primarily as he was by far and away England’s best batter and was a certain starter. He took the role with 53 Tests under his belt and having amassed 4,594 runs at an average of 52.80. His form did not dramatically suffer as a result of being given the job, with 5,295 runs at 46.44. Root scored 14 hundreds as skipper and even as recently as last year was leading his ailing batting unit from the front. In 2021 alone Root scored 1,708 runs with two double centuries and four more hundreds as he was named ICC men’s cricketer of the year. But it was his Ashes record that came back to bite him.
Where did it go wrong?
England’s run of one win in his last 17 Tests as captain included series losses in India, at home to New Zealand and away winter defeats to Australia and the West Indies. England captains tend to be judged on their Ashes record and while predecessors Strauss and Cook both oversaw series wins Down Under and Vaughan famously won the 2005 Ashes, Root failed to win any of his three series against the old enemy. He won just two matches as skipper, including Ben Stokes’ Headingley heroics in 2019, and led the team to successive 4-0 defeats in Australia. His batting average also dipped to 38.76 and he failed to notch a century Down Under.