Chris Woakes has endorsed Joe Root’s retention as England captain despite an abject appearance in the Ashes which saw their hopes of retrieving the urn vanish in just 12 days of cricket.
Root and head coach Chris Silverwood have already thrown out the inevitable questions about their positions in the post-series long grass, but there’s a feeling the skipper, at least, could have a say in his own future. .
If the tour continues on its plunging course, a wider change is not on the cards, but for now, Root will surpass predecessor Sir Alastair Cook’s record of 59 tests at the helm when he leads the team to Sydney on January 5.
Joe Root is under pressure to quit England captain following Ashes’ humiliation
But Root received backing from England bowler Chris Woakes, who urged him to continue
While it remains to be seen if he has the resolve to continue his teammates stand together, Woakes suggesting that England’s inability to match Root’s fine performances with the bat was a far bigger issue than his leadership. .
When asked if the players had supported Root despite a 3-0 loss in Australia, Woakes replied: “Absolutely. Joe is a great cricketer, he has a great cricketer brain and I think his record in as long as the England captain is actually pretty good.
“Certainly, it looks like Joe is going to continue. Hopefully he will. It is clear that the captain has no effect on his batter, which can often be the case with captains.
“The fact that he’s scoring the points he’s got is great for the team. It would be great if we could help him with that and score a few more points around him.
“Joe is a world class player who obviously had a fantastic year. When a guy beats as well as him, we are expected to perform much stronger than us.
England now play for pride after Australia took a 3-0 series lead in Melbourne
Tests as England captain
59 – Alastair Cook, Joe Root
54 – Michael Atherton
51 – Michael Vaughan
50 – André Strauss
45 – Nasser Hussein
41 – Pierre May
34 – Graham Gooch
32 – David Gower
31 – Mike Brearley, Ray Illingworth
Silverwood has less obvious credit in the bank and may need a few significantly improved performances in Sydney and Hobart to strengthen his position.
Woakes offered a less serious assessment when asked about the head coach, proposing, “Who am I to talk about people’s futures besides mine?”
“The group of players, management and staff that we have here have the support of the players to hopefully make things right, especially over the next two games.”
He added: “Losing the Ashes 3-0 with two games was not a position we would have liked to be in so naturally, everyone is disappointed, emptied. It’s a little flat. But we have to get up and get up again and to share out.
“It’s really difficult when a team takes over. It’s not like a Premier League game where you face new opposition next weekend.
“You’re up against the same people who knocked you out, who have points against you, who clearly have a good game plan that works against you.
“That’s when you have to show character, we have to show combat. As a group of players we have to be proud of what we do.
England coach Chris Silverwood is under pressure after dismal performance
Woakes was one of 10 England players to return to the MCG’s net on what should have been day four of the Boxing Day test, as work began to avoid an Ashes whitewash.
A resounding third morning defeat in Melbourne was the ninth of the year for England – an unwelcome record – which left Australia to fill their unexpected free afternoon with an impromptu party on the outfield.
England have retreated to the locker room to empathize and wait for the latest round of Covid-19 testing – the team has now returned two rounds of negative PCRs since six of the top travelers contracted the virus and await results a third – but reserved an optional net session for Wednesday morning.
Australia took an unassailable 3-0 lead with tests to play in Sydney and Hobart
Most of the players who took part in the total 68 debacle opted not to revisit the crime scene, but the top three from Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan – who scored 38 combined points in the game – did come. for a bat.
They were joined by the seven squad members who did not make it to the game for a practice session led by Silverwood and assistant Graham Thorpe.
The mood was hardly rosy, but with two Tests still to play and widespread predictions of a wash, this is a group that does not afford the luxury of wallowing in defeat.
England expect the series to go ahead as planned, although any further cases of Covid in the camp could cause problems.
Australian captain Pat Cummins and his winners Ashes toast their categorical victory on the pitch
Australian stars celebrated Ashes’ victory by playing against their children (L) and drinking beers (R)
Those affected at the moment are three family members and three backstage team members, with the period of forced isolation leaving England lightly on experienced pitchers for their hitters.
Using the ‘dog sticks’ that help reproduce the extreme speed needed to prepare for the cricket test takes practice, and tourists hope to recruit local coaches to help them with their preparations.