Joe Root news: Darren Gough goes to bat for former England Test captain

Despite England's woeful form in the lead up to Joe Root's decision to step down as Test captain, Darren Gough is adamant that he was the right man for the job.

England fast bowling legend Darren Gough stood up for Joe Root after he faced a wave of criticism following his decision to step down as Test captain.

In hindsight, the writing had been on the wall for some time for Root despite his determination to battle through tough times.

The simple fact was that, at the time of his announcement, England had won just one of their last 17 Test matches.

A woeful and, many would argue unacceptable, return for one of the biggest and most popular cricket unions in the world.

However, Gough felt that the criticism was too harsh based on Root's overall contribution to the team and the fact that there was simply no one better to do the job.

"I think he's done a good job. I really do. He leads from the front. He's a strong personality. Everybody thinks he's this relaxed, fun-loving guy, which he is. But he's also a strong leader," Gough said.

"I've been in that dressing room environment in New Zealand. He is hugely respected by every single player and coaching staff. And he was the perfect man for the job."

On an individual performance level, there is absolutely no doubt Root deserved his place in the England team but there is only so much you can do as captain.

"You're only as good as your players. You can be as good a captain as you want," Gough said.

"Yes, you might be able to make a little 1% change, but you need the team. Individual players have to come to the party when you really want them. When your best players rock up, it makes such a difference.

"Go down England's last 20 hundreds and it's Root, Root, Root, Root, Root. He's got about 17 of them! That's how important he is to the team."

Surprising backlash

In the end, Gough felt as if it all just got a bit too much for Root.

"I was surprised by the criticism. I think you have to look deeper than that. With everything that has been going on in English Cricket, I don't think you can blame the captain," he said.

"He's had a lot of criticism. I think what probably hurt him, it's come from a lot of guys who played the game and captained England as well - some of his closest mates. Unfortunately, we're always looking for someone to blame."

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