Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes that managing life after James Anderson will be crucial to the team's future in red-ball cricket. Vaughan has identified it as a significant challenge for Joe Root as England aim to revive the Test side after their drubbing in the Ashes.
While Anderson performs consistently in Test cricket, even at 39, he is unlikely to play for a long time. The right-arm seamer has been one of England's few bright spots in their ongoing Ashes tour. Anderson declared he doesn't plan on retiring anytime soon as he is in good shape.
Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Vaughan feels that how England overcome Anderson's inevitable retirement will determine their future. Keeping in mind the legendary pacer's stature, the 47-year-old noted the need for a smooth transition. He wrote:
"Managing Jimmy's retirement is going to be key to this team moving forward. His future is the big elephant in the room. England will find it hard without Jimmy, but in time, they will rebuild. It is not about sacking Jimmy. The right thing is to transition but to do it respectfully."
"You can only do that by having strong conversations with Jimmy about what is going to happen. Just because you can still perform, does not mean you should keep going on and on."
The fourth Ashes Test in Sydney marked Anderson's 169th cap and made him the second-most capped player in Test history. He has 640 scalps at 26.58, with 31 five-wicket hauls.
"The Test team needs a group of players like the 2019 World Cup squad" - Michael Vaughan
Vaughan addressed England's Test woes, claiming they need a settled group of players with clearly-defined roles and responsibilities. The cricketer-turned-commentator wrote:
"The Test team needs a group of players like the 2019 World Cup squad. By the time they reached that competition, they had a senior core who had played together for four years and knew their roles. That is the vision for the Test team. They should come back here with a senior group of players, which means a lot of people have to have played a lot of Tests over the next four years."
"I can understand why people are calling for Joe to step down. He has made mistakes with selections and tactics but that is the least of my worries. Joe needs a bit of change in personnel to give him a few new voices to talk to and bring a different mindset and mentality to the group."
It remains to be seen if England will sack Root as captain after a disastrous Ashes tour. All-rounder Ben Stokes is currently the ideal candidate to succeed the right-handed batter.