Cricket: Joe Root still believes he is the right man to lead England as he says planning for 2021 Ashes series in Australia begins now

Joe Root, the England Test captain, believes he is the right man to take his team forward after setting his sights on the next Ashes series, Down Under in Australia in 2021.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 5:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 8:36 pm
England captain Joe Root (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Root played every minute of every game for England during one of their busiest ever summers, and made history when he helped Eoin Morgan’s one-day side lift the World Cup for the first time at Lord’s.

But England’s hopes of a dream World Cup and Ashes double this summer were dashed by an impressive Australian side, who retained the Ashes urn after the five-game series finished all square at 2-2.

Root’s batting and captaincy were both criticised at times throughout the series, and he failed to reach three figures while Steve Smith, once one of his rivals as the best batsman on the planet, dominated, finishing with 774 runs in four games with an average of 110.

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But the 28-year-old, a product of Sheffield Collegiate CC, said: “A massive focus for English cricket has to be on going to Australia and winning.

“That would be a fantastic achievement and, as Test captain, I want to really push that and make sure we’re as prepared as we can be.

“But that should start now, and there’s no reason why it can’t. I’m really looking forward to starting that this winter, and it should be a very exciting journey for us all.”

Asked if he felt he could continue as England captain, Root replied: “One hundred per cent. I absolutely love it.

“I’m very fortunate and honoured to get the opportunity to captain England and I want to take this team forward.

“I really do believe I am the right man to do that. Hopefully, I get the backing to do that, and can prove them right.”