Ever since Joe Root stepped onto a cricket field and started making a name for himself, he was widely tipped as a future leader for the England cricket team. In fact, when you google Joe Root, quite a few of the predictions would read Joe Root future captain, Joe Root England captain.
Thus it is heartening to see the 26-year-old give a full vote of confidence to current England Test captain Alastair Cook at a difficult time for him. England, ranked 2nd in the ICC rankings are going through a difficult period in an otherwise largely successful era for English Test cricket.
Out of the last 6 Tests, they have lost their last 4, having just lost two consecutive tests at Vishakapatnam and Mohali. Reports suggest that the burden of captaincy is weighing heavily on Cook and that he might prefer not having to deal with the burden of captaincy as well at this point of his life.
Cook’s captaincy woes have not particularly affected his batting form as he has already registered a 50 and a 100 on the tour in India. However, the fact that he wants to spend more time with his baby daughter might persuade him to give up the captaincy, given the baggage it carries with it, of speaking to the media among other things.
Speaking about how Cook is dealing with the responsibility of being captain, Root said, “I think he is coping all right. He's very professional and you don't really get much from him in that respect. I imagine it must be quite tough being away from a new child and family and everything.”
England’s batters faltered in Mohali when they won the toss and had a great chance to put a big total on the board batting first. “You could put a lot of blame on Cooky but actually it is the responsibility of the batters to make those big scores. You can blame whoever you want, but we have to take responsibility for our own game” he added.
Speaking about his captaincy claims, he said, “I think he is pretty set on captaining for a few years to come and I hope he does because I think he is a brilliant leader and I've really enjoyed playing under him. I'm quite happy with the role I'm playing at the moment and genuinely, honestly I think he is the right man."
Coach Trevor Bayliss is a big fan of Cook and it’s highly unlikely that Cook will face the sack even if they lose the next two Tests in Mumbai and Chennai.
One of the prime reasons for Cook to stay on as captain is to avenge the Ashes humiliation he suffered last time around, but there remains a very realistic possibility that he may give up the captaincy reigns after this tour.