Tactically Joe has not got it and never had it: Geoffrey Boycott

London, April 18 (IANS) Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott feels that Joe Root never had the tactical nous to be an efficient Test skipper.
 
Tactically Joe has not got it and never had it: Geoffrey Boycott

London, April 18 (IANS) Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott feels that Joe Root never had the tactical nous to be an efficient Test skipper.

He added that though Root won universal admiration for his behaviour, he could never leave an impact as a Test captain for England with his cricketing tactics.

On April 16, Root stepped down as England's Test captain after captaining the side in 64 matches, registering 27 wins, the most by any men's Test captain from the country in the longest format of the game. But with England winning just one out of its last 17 Tests and losing men's Ashes 4-0 followed by a 1-0 series defeat in the West Indies last month, calls for Root's resignation increased and culminated with him stepping down on Saturday.

"Tactically Joe has not got it and never had it. If it's not there I don't believe you can learn it. It is instinct, a feel for the changing situations of a match and some experience helps. Setting fields and getting bowlers to bowl to them is crucial to any chance of winning. Having different plans for every opposition batsman is vital," wrote Boycott in his column for The Telegraph on Monday.

"Captaincy is tactical awareness and man management of players. The players and public all like Joe so a dressing room with Joe in charge is bound to be a good place, but that alone doesn't win matches. Being smart and clever with a cricket brain has more impact," added Boycott, who played 108 Tests for England.

Through his experience of playing Test cricket, Boycott admitted that giving up Test captaincy wouldn't have been an easy call for Root as his batting was unaffected by leadership responsibility.

"He took his time to reflect on his position before resigning. It will have tormented him as nobody gives up the captaincy of their country easily. So many players and coaches have publicly said how much they like him and want him to carry on. The dressing room team spirit is great, Joe worked his socks off and cared passionately. The captaincy did not affect his batting."

Boycott predicted that no matter who replaces Root as England's Test captain, the team will continue to struggle due to poor performances in the past. "I think, like me, the cricketing public are so down and disheartened with English red ball cricket that the captaincy issue is not a big deal. It should be but we have had so much promise, potential, PR speeches from captain and coaches that now we have turned off because the team keeps losing."

"And the only reason England keep losing is because they aren't good enough. We don't want to believe it but deep down we know it is true and it's that truth that hurts and dispirits us. We keep hoping English cricket will get better but we are not convinced it will. So whoever is made captain will it change anything? Probably not."

--IANS

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