JOE ROOTS’ job as captain hangs in the balance as England teetered on the brink of defeat in the Caribbean.
And former skipper Michael Vaughan – Roots mentor – led calls for him to resign.
England ended Day 3 of the crucial third Test 103-8 in their second innings, just ten runs clear and sure to lose the series 0-1.
Speaking to BT Sport, Vaughan said: “I can see an England captain looking a bit exhausted. If he’s feeling that way, it’s best if he’s just a hitter because he’s going to keep hitting a lot of runs.
“He looks exhausted and tired and I think this could be his last friendly as captain – I was in that position. You wake up one day and you think, ‘I’ve had enough.’”
England delivered a performance that was almost unbelievably shocking and pathetic even by their standards.
On the third day of the third test, every aspect of their game was downright useless. Bowling, tactics, hitting, running and effort – they were rubbish on the course.
It means England are certain to lose the series in the Caribbean after the first two Tests were drawn. It would be the fifth loss in a row.
Root must definitely resign, or if he refuses to fall on his sword, the new team director, who will be appointed later this month, should ask him to step down.
The team has stopped fighting for its leader. It was obvious during the Ashes and it’s become even more obvious now.
Ex-skipper Vaughan summed it up: “There is no resilience in this English team.
“When you keep seeing England crumble and show no fight, spirit or togetherness… I hear all the time that England is tight and has a good spirit. No, they do not have. Spirit takes place on the court, not by the pool.
“You fight and don’t give your opponent an easy win. To see the England team capitulate without spirit or fight, I fear there are big questions to be asked.”
England were childish on the field and then produced another disastrous batting slump.
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The Windies showed skill, determination and skill to carve out a first innings lead of 93 – thanks largely to a first Test century from wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva – and then England plummeted to 103-8 by the end. They lead by just ten runs.
England’s batsmen collapsed under the pressure on a pitch that offered an uneven bounce but no real demons.
Root himself was out just twice after his duck in the first innings – again falling to Kyle Mayers’ smooth, medium-paced bowling.
Root decided to remain in charge after England’s 4-0 win in the Ashes and was involved in the decision to ditch Stuart Broad and James Anderson for this tour – perhaps to try to bolster his authority in the squad.
But the experienced duo was greatly missed and although Root scored centuries in each of the first two Tests, his lead once again lacked the spark.
After a miserable morning on Day 3, which allowed the Windies to add more valuable runs, England’s second innings followed a predictable path.
Opening player Zak Crawley was caught in the slips on another ambitious drive, Root was led into the slips, Dan Lawrence was bowled and didn’t offer a shot, and Ben Stokes was restrained trying to pull his bat back.
Jonny Bairstow shoved a hoick across the line, Alex Lees was bowled by a cultivator and Ben Foakes ran out to attempt a suicidal second run. Then Craig Overton tamely led a catch into the briefs.
Myers ended the day with the remarkable numbers of 5-9 from 13 overs.
Previously, England needed 30.3 overs to win their last two Windies wickets. Kemar Roach was caught in the leg after a ninth wicket stand of 68 and then No. 11 Jayden Seales helped Da Silva put up another 52.
Da Silva achieved his first Test century by crunching Overton for back-to-back boundaries, and then, on the next ball, everyone thought he was behind.
Da Silva reconsidered the decision but accepted handshakes from England’s players and had run off the floor when DRS loaded. Amazingly, it showed that the racquet was far from the ball and all players had to return.
But Seales was caught and bowled by Root in the next over without increasing the total.
England batting coach Marcus Trescothick added: “We are disappointed. The boys are honest and will realize they made some bad decisions. We didn’t get it right. It wasn’t good enough and we need to get better.
“But let’s not just judge today – we did some really good things in the first two friendlies.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4985749/joe-root-england-west-indies-cricket/ Captain Joe Root hangs by a thread with England on the brink of a series defeat by the West Indies