Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott has revealed who he thinks should take over as captain of Joe Root, but despite his opinion he has warned of the worrying state of the domestic international game
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Last Friday, root resigned as England captain after originally replacing Alastair Cook in the role. The 31-year-old holds the record for most games and wins as captain.
However, his last run as captain ended in defeat against the West Indies, with a crushing 10-wicket defeat in the third Test ensuring England remained winless in nine games after a dismal Ashes tour. Boycott welcomed Root’s decision to step down and offered his thoughts on his successor before issuing a chilling warning regarding the immediate future of the England team.
“As soon as the West Indies series was over I said Joe Root should step down as England captain,” Boycott wrote in his column in The Telegraph . “My opinion was that Stuart Broad should be appointed as something else in the short term.
“He has a hard edge and I was struck by the way he talks about cricket in interviews and commentary on television. As a bowler, he would bring a different perspective.”
Boycott speaks of warnings from history, including the similarities between them Ben Stokes and icon Ian Botham, two sensational all-rounders. The 81-year-old cites how the erratic Botham struggled when his form suffered tremendously after accepting captaincy – and he fears history could repeat itself with Stokes.
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Boycott listed a number of previous captains who have had a measure of success, including Tony Greig and Ray Illingworth – the latter basing his success largely on the talent around him. He bemoans the quality of the current team and hints that Root was doomed as “no matter how well Joe batted, he couldn’t bat for the rest of the team”.
He criticized England’s racquets for their lack of fundamental technique, patience, limited focus and judgement. The former Yorkshire country cricketer then made his haunting prediction that regardless of who captains, England will fight.
“I think, like me, the cricket public is so down and disheartened with English red ball cricket that the captaincy issue isn’t a big deal,” Boycott continued. “It was supposed to be but we had so much promise, potential, PR speeches from the captain and coaches that we have now switched off because the team keeps losing.
“And the only reason England keep losing is because they are not good enough. We don’t want to believe it, but deep down we know it’s true, and it’s that truth that hurts and discourages us.
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“We keep hoping that English cricket will get better, but we’re not convinced. Whoever gets made captain, will it make a difference? Probably not.”
Boycott’s international Testing career has spanned 17 years and so he undoubtedly understands the necessary qualities that are required in a captain. He believes the role is about tactical awareness and leadership, and Root was a popular player – but only a high cricket IQ can really help win games.
He proposed to be captain and the tactical nous required is something that cannot be learned as it is based on instinct. He added that captains need to get the best out of their players and Root just wasn’t able to do that, despite his general favor. Boycott added: “Better that a captain is tough and tough and not liked but wins. Sport is not a popularity contest.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/cricket/geoffrey-boycott-england-captain-prediction-26734521 Geoffrey Boycott makes bleak predictions for Joe Root's successor as England captain