London, Aug 29 (IANS) Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed his happiness over Joe Root becoming England’s most successful Test skipper. At the same time, he feels that Root would swap record for an away Ashes win.
“Well done to Joe Root for becoming England’s most successful Test captain of all time. It is not something he will care about at the moment. It is the kind of thing that does not sink in while you are still playing. You only reflect on those achievements later in life,” wrote Vaughan in his column for The Telegraph on Sunday.
“When that happens he will realise his record may never be beaten because how much Test cricket will be played in the future? To captain England for 55 matches is a great effort in itself given how draining the job is, especially when he is carrying the batting to such a great extent as well,” added Vaughan.
On Saturday, Root surpassed Vaughan to become England’s most successful Test captain. England defeating India by an innings and 76 runs in the third Test at Headingley in Leeds was Root’s 27th win as England skipper, surpassing Vaughan who won 26 Tests as captain between 2003-2008.
The 46-year-old was of the opinion that Root would swap Test wins under his captaincy for an Ashes win. England’s last away Ashes victory in 2010/11 came under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss. “Right now I am pretty sure he would swap some of those 27 victories for an Ashes series win. He wants more than anything to experience that feeling of holding up the urn because it is the only piece missing from his career. Perhaps it will change in time and winning the World Test Championship will become the pinnacle for captains but at the moment for the leaders of England and Australia it is the Ashes that matters above all else.”
Under Root, England is yet to get its hands on the Urn in away and home series. “I realise I might cop a little bit of flak for this but Joe will not go down as a great captain until he beats Australia, probably even in his own mind, and who knows, his third crack at it this winter might be his last. Not many get four bites at the cherry. When you receive that great phone call to offer you the England job, your sole focus is on how to beat Australia. You want to win the Ashes more than anything and anyone who disagrees is lying,” said Vaughan.
The 30-year-old Root, who took over the captaincy from Alastair Cook in February 2017, is also the top run-scorer of the ongoing Test series with 507 runs in five innings, including three hundreds on trot at a whopping average of 126.75.
Vaughan reflected on how Root and England were able to make a comeback after a crushing 151-run loss in the second Test at Lord’s. “Joe has endured a lot of ups and downs, none more so than over the past 10 days following the second Test defeat. But he was able to bounce back from the Lord’s loss, when he just had a bad hour tactically, by reminding himself England only had a chance to win that game because of his batting.
“When it is bad as England captain, it is really bad. You feel a lot of pain, but also you are never far away from being a good captain again which is why I said after the Lord’s game that he had to hang in there. I knew it would change, although possibly not this emphatically.”
Vaughan signed off by saying that Root should now focus on winning the series against India before eyeing the Ashes. “His big thing now is to win this series, which would be a great achievement from where England have been this summer, and the number of high-calibre players they have lost, and then refocus on Australia.”
The five-match Test series between England and India is tied at 1-1. The fourth Test starts at The Oval on September 2.