Joe Root blames ‘perfect storm’ for England downfall in whiteball cricket

Joe Root has described England’s clean-ball problems as ‘the perfect storm’ after they were beaten by South Africa in the first of three games of the One-Day International Series, a fifth loss in seven matches home this summer.

Root had the highest score with 86 as England were knocked out for 271 at the Riverside on Tuesday to lose by 62 points, but said he was ‘not too concerned’ about subsequent defeats to India in the formats 20 and 50 with another reverse. .

England are dealing with injuries, an extremely busy schedule, a lack of form among key players and a hot, dry summer which is not producing the wickets and playing conditions normally seen in this country, while being led by a new captain. But Root, the former Test captain, insisted none of those issues were really serious and that Game 2 at Old Trafford on Friday is more likely to see his side end the streak than extend it. the agony.

“Our dressing room has a lot of experienced players who, like me, have been there and seen the lowest of lows,” he said.

“We know how quickly things can change, so I’m not too worried. It’s like that Chumbawamba song, you get knocked down and you get back up. This is exactly how things should be done.

“The calendar is tough, it’s true, but as a player you can’t really change it. So if you want to play you fall for it, unfortunately. With games that are quite thick and fast, it gives you the possibility to put everything you want to improve directly into a match scenario. This is another opportunity for us to do that when we arrive at Old Trafford.

It will be the team’s first game after the retirement from cricket of more than 50 years of Ben Stokes, Root’s close friend and replacement as Test captain, and the Yorkshireman criticizing a schedule that makes it difficult for any individual to play in all three formats. “I want to play as much as I can, as often as possible, but the schedule makes it very difficult for players to do that,” he said. “It’s sad in many ways that Ben had to make this decision.

Ben Stokes walks away after his last round of one-day cricket at his Durham ground.
Ben Stokes walks away after his last round of one-day cricket at his Durham ground. Photography: Gareth Copley/ECB/Getty Images

“You want to see your best players playing in as many formats and you don’t want to dilute the product. But thank you for being able to make that decision and for understanding himself, his body and the responsibilities he now has as England captain so well. It shows how much he cares not only for his own career but also for the team. I really hope he reaps the benefits in the other two forms.

One issue that Root sees as completely insignificant is the captaincy, despite poor results following Eoin Morgan’s international retirement and handing that responsibility over to Jos Buttler.

“I know Jos has a great cricketing spirit, he understands this game brilliantly. He’s going to be a great captain. I don’t think these results accurately reflect the way he conducts his business as a leader. Sometimes you have to time for things to fall in. I don’t think it will take that long with Jos.

As well as playing what Root described as “very unusual white-ball wickets for England”, one of the reasons the team seemed to approach ODIs as if they were completely alien to the format is that in relative terms, that is what they have become. In the 21 years between the start of 1999 and the end of 2019, England played an average of 22 50-a-side games a year, with a low of 14 in 2001 and a high of 34 in 2007. Since then, they haven’t have not reached double figures, playing nine in 2020 and 2021 while Friday’s game will be their eighth game this year.

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“I just think we haven’t had a lot of format,” Root said. “We have a very busy schedule. There are still plenty of players who are unavailable for draft at the minute due to injury. And in the last series, you didn’t have great senior players stepping up, like me.

“It’s like the perfect storm where everything comes together. And when it’s not going well, it’s really important that you stay strong, that you stick to the way you want to approach things as a group, and that you fully believe in it and support it. We have shown we can do it before and I am very confident that we will do it again in the near future.

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