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Joe Root can be England's Sachin Tendulkar, feels Graeme Swann

Ram Kumar
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 11:04 IST
Joe Root Sachin Tendulkar
Swann wants Root to emulate Tendulkar and achieve greatness

What’s the story?

Former England spinner Graeme Swann has urged the team management to not burden Joe Root with captaincy duties. Insisting that the Yorkshireman has the potential to be England’s version of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, the 38-year-old implored the relevant authorities to allow Root to focus solely on his batting so that he can go on to achieve greatness.

In an interview with Wisden India, Swann said, “I don’t actually agree with Joe being made captain because I think he is potentially our best ever batsman. I’d love to just leave him alone, don’t burden him with captaincy. Let him be our Sachin Tendulkar, let him be the best that we’ve ever had.”

“I think the pressures of captaincy are all encompassing. I don’t think it’s going to help his batting. I hope I’m wrong, I really do. And I hope he does go on to greater things like Virat (Kohli) and Steve Smith especially. But I hope I’m wrong and I stand to be corrected, but I’d have let Stuart Broad do it for a while.”

In the past...

Tendulkar had two unsuccessful tenures as the captain of the Indian team. Having had to shoulder the burden of the batting lineup right throughout the 90s, the iconic cricketer struggled to embrace the challenges of captaincy. From 98 matches as skipper across both Tests and ODIs, he managed to win only 27 of those and lost as many as 52 games.

The heart of the matter

Even though Root’s contemporaries in Kohli, Smith and Kane Williamson are all captains of their respective teams, Swann affirmed that the England star should be kept away from the leadership mantle. The off-spinner quipped that Broad should have been asked to take over the Test captaincy from Alastair Cook.

Following England’s abject 0-4 defeat in India last year, Cook stepped down from captaincy in order to complete the remainder of his career only as a batsman. Root, Broad and Ben Stokes were in the running to succeed the opener. Eventually, the Yorkshireman got the nod due to his composed temperament and ability to lead from the front on a regular basis.

What’s next?

Root’s maiden assignment as Test captain will be a tough one as England play host to South Africa for a 4-match series starting from July 6. With the Proteas being formidable travellers, the stage is set for a riveting tussle.

Author’s take

Considering his recent exploits across all formats as well as his strong batting technique, Root can certainly become England’s Tendulkar. Contrary to Swann’s assessment, captaincy should not be a burden for him as he has the potential to complement his batting form with the rigours of leadership.

Published 12 Jun 2017, 21:00 IST
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