Joe Root hopes West Indies Test series can spark change in England’s fortunes

England skipper Joe Root revealed he is ‘committed, excited and energised’ as he looks for a drastic turnaround in form.

Root, who has been the captain for almost five years, took over the position from Sir Alistair Cook and has led the Test team on 61 occasions - more than anyone else. 

However, a 4-0 thrashing during this winter's Ashes series away in Australia caused questions to be raised about Root's position.

Despite this, the 31-year-old kept hold of his captaincy role while the backroom staff faced a clear-out. Head coach Chris Silverwood, assistant Graham Thorpe and director of cricket Ashley Giles were all sacked, while James Anderson and Stuart Broad were omitted from the squad ahead of the upcoming West Indies tour.

Root was asked to stay on and lead the revival - an opportunity the player simply couldn't turn down.

He said: "I'm very committed, excited and energised to take this team forward. I think I'm the right man for the role.

England's Joe Root presents a pink cap during day three of the fourth Ashes test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. Picture date: Friday January 7, 2022.

"As long as that is the case, I'll be fully committed to the role. When I was weighing that up, it would have been wrong to just commit to a short-term thing.

"I always try and do what I think is best for this group of players, whether that is with the bat in hand or as captain of this team.

"I'm very grateful to get the opportunity and hopefully this can be a real start of change in our performances. It's a real chance to start getting back to where we need to be, which is one of the leading teams in Test cricket."

Root's commitment to the cause was further underlined by his decision to abandon his participation in the Indian Premier League auction.

Joe Root (left) and Ben Stokes (right) of England

Vice-captain Ben Stokes, who was virtually certain of a big-money deal, did likewise and Root feels that is testament to their dedication.

He said: "I would never do anything that I didn't think was the best thing for this team, whether that's going to play in an IPL or putting my name in a different franchise tournament.

"If it's going to impact negatively on this team, then I would not make a decision and the same applied for carrying on as captain.

"I'd never want to be involved in making a career decision on someone else's behalf but it shows how much Ben cares about Test cricket and how much he cares about this team, helping us get back to where we desire to be. I'm pretty chuffed about it."

England's three-match Test series against the West Indies gets underway on Tuesday.

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