Graham Thorpe is the new addition to the list of England staff who paid a heavy price for Ashes debacle, but Joe Root will continue as captain for the upcoming tour of West Indies, after receiving the full support of Andrew Strauss, England’s interim director of cricket.
Speaking at Lord’s just after Thursday’s sacking of Silverwood as head coach, Strauss – who was himself appointed on Wednesday in place of the outgoing director of men’s cricket, Ashley Giles – admitted that Root was still upset after England’s 4-0 defeat in the Ashes, the second time he has failed in such a way.
However, Strauss strongly believes, that Root retains the “energy and motivation” to carry on, as well as the respect of the players – understandably so, after an incredible run of form in 2021, in which he scored 1708 Test runs at 61.00, more than three times more than any of his team-mates, as well as six of England’s seven Test centuries in the calendar year.
Strauss comments on the significant changes in England Cricket
“Having spoken to Joe, it is absolutely clear the extent of his commitment to taking this side forward,” Strauss said. “He has incredible motivation and energy to do that. He is bruised, and hugely disappointed by what went on in the Ashes but he sets a magnificent example, both on and off the field, so I will give him my full support and make sure he has right structure around him to take pressure off him and make sure he can do his job properly.”
“There are some soundings-out to be done, both inside and outside the organisation, and there are some decisions to be made about the actual focus of this tour,” Strauss added. “You can look at it in a number of ways – we are in the business of winning, and it’s very, very important we go out there and win, but it is also about looking forwards, so we have to look at that, both with regards to the interim coach, but also with our approach to selection and everything else associated with that.”
“I think the players are the ones that go on the pitch, and they are accountable for their performances,” he said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see performances have been poor for the last 12 months. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. The players have to hold up their hands, accept they have to get better. They have the best possible example right there with them in the dressing room in Joe Root in terms of what world-class performance looks like. That has to be their ambition, to reach that level of performance.