Joe Root will be England’s Test captain for the Ashes in Australia in the winter of 2021/22, so let’s get behind him.
That is the message from Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon ahead of the second Test Match against New Zealand in Hamilton, starting on Friday (Thursday night UK, 10pm).
Root’s position as skipper has come under question amidst a barren run of form with the bat.
Despite four half-centuries in the drawn summer Ashes series in England, the White Rose star’s lack of a Test century since February in the West Indies and two low scores in the recent defeat against the Kiwis at Mount Maunganui has led to whispers about his suitability as skipper.
He scored two and 11 as England went 1-0 down in a two-match series, getting out to two indecisive strokes, and had to field questions about his leadership future in the media.
But Moxon said: “The England set-up are going to back Rooty to be their captain in Australia in two years. I think it’s important everyone gets behind him and supports him because he’s the best man for the job.
“For his sake, hopefully he can get a big hundred in this Test and put the grumblings to bed.”
Root is currently leading a new look England side who are aiming to make batting big the cornerstone of future success, something which hasn’t come easily for them in recent times.
In many ways, there are similarities to the development of Yorkshire’s team in County Championship cricket.
So Moxon is well placed to speak about what England players, management and supporters can expect leading into the next Ashes series, which is their main priority as they bid to regain the urn.
“Sport is cyclical,” said the former Test opener.
“England’s Test team have had to deal with the loss of Alastair Cook for example, and they are still going through that.
“England’s one-day team is going to have a turnover of personnel at some stage. It’s happening with Liam Plunkett a bit now, Eoin Morgan will retire in the not too distant future. They are big shoes to fill.
“That’s what we’ve had here (at Yorkshire) – high quality players who we are having to replace. That doesn’t happen overnight. It will take time.
“England’s plan is to win the Ashes in Australia in two year’s time.
“It’s a very achievable aim, but there will be bumps along the way.
“We’ve had some bumps along the way here – there always are.
“They key is to stick to your plan if you like and accept those bumps at times.
“It’s not a quick fix because how can you get experience for young players without playing them? They will make mistakes. The likes of Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope will have failures. But you have to believe that they will be ready when they go to Australia.
“That’s what we are trying to do here.
“Hopefully it will happen for us next year, but personally I think it’s more realistic that it will be a couple of years when we go, ‘Wow, we’re a real force’.
“The problem is that even though you’re in that transitional period, people still expect you to win. And when you don’t, you cop it. That’s what Chris Silverwood and the England management have to accept and deal with.”
Moxon added: “England have a lot of options in the batting department. Zak Crawley is there but not playing. Still, they have to find the right balance from that.
“I think they have to find a place for Jonny (Bairstow), personally. He’s too good a player not to be in that England Test team.”