Joe Root, who stepped down as the England Test captain, recently admitted that he has enjoyed playing red-ball international cricket since being unburdened by the responsibility of leading the side. Under Root, England had lost 16 out of 17 Test matches they played, including against West Indies and the Ashes 2022 in Australia, in which they lost 0-4.
However, under the new regime of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, England has roared back in form, defeating New Zealand 3-0 and then India in the rescheduled fifth Test and demolishing South Africa 2-1.
England played an aggressive and positive brand of cricket that has captured the imagination. However, in an interview with Sky Sports, Root said that he had developed a “very unhealthy relationship” with the role and said it had started to “take a bad toll on my own personal health”.
I’ve Thoroughly Enjoyed This Year As Much As Probably Any I Have In International Cricket: Joe Root
In an interview with Sky Sports, Joe Root talked about his game and life after England Test captaincy and he said that he has been playing with a lot more freedom this summer and believes England can “go from strength to strength.
“It’s been great fun. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year as much as probably any I have in international cricket since I’ve been playing, in terms of Test cricket in particular. Hopefully we can go from strength to strength from here and keep moving forward as a team, but we’ve done some things this year that not many Test teams have been able to achieve. I think the challenge for us now is to keep going for it, keep trying to explore new areas in the format and see how far we can take it,” Root said.
When asked if he has found Test cricket ‘more fun’ now that he has relinquished the captaincy, Root replied: “Yeah, definitely. It was a tough last couple of years, but I think we’ve got to look forward as a team – I certainly have. I’m really excited to just get my teeth into trying to score as many as I can for Ben and for the team and see where we can get to as a side. As an experienced player in the team, I’ve still got a role in trying to lead in a different capacity, help with some of the younger batters and younger guys and hopefully that will benefit us as well.”
England will next play a Test against Pakistan in December which will be their first since 2005.
“I’m really excited [for the Test series against Pakistan]. I’ve never been before. When you look at some of the games that have been there in the last couple of years, the teams touring there, it has looked great so really looking forward to getting out there. I’m really excited to do something different. Having played the game for 10 years in international cricket, to now get the opportunity to play there is a really exciting chance,” Root signed off.