Dear Joe Root,
It’s been a while since I have been this emotional. I believe the last time I was brimming with emotions was when Kohli stepped down from the mantle. You guys have made it a habit for us cricket fans to be hooked to the TV when you are at your fullest swing.
Well, I believe for folks like you, Joe Root, captaincy is the invisible knife that always pierced your soul despite being the heroes that you are. Joe, you have been a phenomenal batter and there is absolutely no doubt in it. In the toughest of surfaces, you have shown indomitable mettle and your blade has stitched a greater number of words than any other British author could have done while describing the entire sport of cricket.
Sadly, being a king in the toughest of times is not as easy as one thinks it would be. In a world of doom-scrolling and curtailed human patience, sports have become a favourite of mankind to come up with their favourite argument. It feels as if every move of an athlete is being monitored and even a chap who has never stepped on the field will probably know more than a seasoned warrior who has squeezed his blood and sweat under the heavy hammer of expectations.
You took over the reins of the English cricket team from the knight and the players you had at your disposal were simply unaware of what donning a Test jersey feels like. Watching them bat always felt as if they are only accustomed to the shortest format of the sport and they would just hurry back to the stands at the slightest mention of it.
I read it somewhere that you had to step down because others won’t step up. Joe, your failure as a captain wasn’t your own. It was a collective failure on behalf of the entire ECB. It felt as if they were never interested in the longest format of the sport. Barring James Anderson the bowlers that they would come up with are being dealt comfortably in modern-day cricket.
The pace just doesn’t get the job done and players like Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood and surprisingly Stuart Broad aren’t able to move the ball even by an inch. England’s opening partners in the longest format of the game would bat as if they were in the midst of a school game with boys being starstruck at the mere presence of their counterparts.
No matter how bad you tried, Joe Root, the players were clearly not hungry and for a captain, nothing can be worse than that. There was a blatant resignation that would just be predominant in their blood and they were completely acceptive of the same. It breaks my heart to see the same England that is so dominant in the shorter formats of the game, being so meek in Test cricket.
It is okay, Joe Root, that you decided to step down from the hallowed pedestal of captaincy. However, please do not give up on the sport so quickly. You have a responsibility to cricket. Please be the phenomenal batter that we have witnessed. Captain or not, I would hate to see the perfect four of batting in modern cricket shatter down.
Maybe it would be a new dawn for English cricket, but now the burning twilight that looms ahead of you, makes the journey into it a memorable one.
A crazy cricket fan.