Joe Root doesn't need '˜hairdryer' to show team his feelings

Joe Root is back at his home ground this week as a satisfied England Test captain that wants his team to develop a ruthless streak.
England captain Joe Root in the nets at Headingley before the 2nd Test against the West Indies. Picture: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/GettyEngland captain Joe Root in the nets at Headingley before the 2nd Test against the West Indies. Picture: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty
England captain Joe Root in the nets at Headingley before the 2nd Test against the West Indies. Picture: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty

England face the West Indies in the second Investec Test at Headingley and will be led in Yorkshire by Sheffield-born Root for the first time since 
he replaced Alastair Cook in February.

Root presided over a 3-1 series victory over South Africa earlier this summer before skippering England to a dominant innings and 209 run 
victory over the Windies at Edgbaston last week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 26-year-old has therefore seen little reason to unleash a rollicking on his colleagues so far, not that he would be afraid to spell out some home truths if needed despite being just the second youngest member of the XI.

“We’ll have to wait and see when it arises,” Root said.

“I think it’s important that the lads are clear if you’re upset with something they know about it and it doesn’t fester.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the sort of bloke that will go out there with a hair-dryer and give someone a massive spray but we know as a side how things should be done, and I think we’re generally on the ball when it comes to making sure we’re all pulling in the same direction.

“We’re playing some really good cricket so that does help. I think the challenge is to 
continue to try to do that.”

Root was introduced to the less appealing side of captaincy when he informed Toby Roland-Jones that he would be axed in favour of the fit-again Chris Woakes for the second Test.

Middlesex seamer Roland-Jones has taken 14 wickets in his three Tests, including a five-for on debut, but Woakes enjoyed a fine summer last year with bat and ball to ensure he returned once over a side strain.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, with Toby having come in and put in some strong performances but it is important that Woakesy 
gets some game time in,” noted

“It is a great chance for him to prove himself and come back into the side with a strong 
performance. He has been phenomenal for us. His record last year for us was outstanding. His challenge will be to back that up.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Momentum was something England failed to pick up after winning the first Test in their previous series as South Africa responded to their mauling at Lord’s by thrashing the hosts by 340 runs in the second Test.

The odds on an inexperienced Windies side doing likewise are longer but Root is keen for his team to learn from how it went wrong at this stage of the previous series.

“After a strong performance last week it is vitally important that we back that up,” he insisted.

“Earlier in the summer at Trent Bridge we didn’t play as well as we could have after a really strong start to that series against South Africa.

“Having that mentality of going out and backing that up and trying to gain some momentum and consistency moving ahead is really 

“It’s just having that mentally of being ruthless and at no point easing off the gas when we get into a position of strength. When we feel like we’re on top, we have to keep driving that forward.”

Root has a personal milestone in sight, having made a half-century in 11 successive Tests, one short of the world record set by South African AB de Villiers three years ago.

However, Headingley has not been a happy home hunting ground for Root, who has averaged just over 12 in the six innings since scoring his maiden ton at the ground.

“A bit of a dry patch after that,” Root admitted. “This is just a great chance to come home and hopefully go out and make a big score.”