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Ashes: Boycott calls for Root to step down as captain

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London, Dec 29 (IANS) Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott has called for Joe Root to step down as the captain of the Test team after the tourists lost the 2021/22 Ashes in 12 playing days of the series.

England were bowled out for 68 to lose the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) by an innings and 14 runs. The result meant Australia retained the Ashes with Root now under more pressure than ever to continue as captain.

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“Nobody would want to give up the captaincy, but it is not about Joe — it is about getting guys to perform better. At the end of this series the question should be asked: would England benefit from a change of captain? That’s not me trying to be hurtful to Joe or just being controversial. We all love Joe,” wrote Boycott in his column for The Telegraph.

“It is impossible not to like him, but before the squad left the UK, Joe said players and captains are defined by Ashes series, particularly in Australia. So far this series we have been dreadful and if Joe believes what he has been saying then it is time for someone else to be given the opportunity to try and galvanise the players,” added Boycott, who played 108 Tests for England.

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Boycott slammed Root’s captaincy, saying that he lacks the authority and skills to lead the Test side. Under Root, England have lost nine Tests this year and unable to win an Ashes series.

“Now Australia are 3-0 up and the Ashes have gone, will Root please stop saying Australia are not much better than us? I don’t mind him living in cuckoo land but stop trying to kid us. If he really believes what he says then maybe it is time he gave up the captaincy of the England cricket team.

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“The facts are staring us all in the face, except Joe doesn’t want to see it. England can’t bat. Our bowling is ordinary. The catching, particularly by the wicketkeeper Buttler, has been poor. Joe’s captaincy lacks imagination. His team selection and decision making has been staggeringly off the mark.”

The 81-year-old signed off by saying that he is fed up with Root’s words after losing three straight matches in the Ashes.

“Many of us are tired of these interviews where Joe says England will learn from a bad day or Joe says he expects a response after a poor performance. We have had enough of this rubbish. Stop treating us ex-players and cricket supporters as idiots.

“Captains accept the accolades when their team wins so they have to accept some blame or criticism when they lose. And let’s be honest – we haven’t just lost, we have been smashed.”

–IANS

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