Root invokes Chumbawamba spirit to try to arrest slide in ODI form

Joe Root invokes spirit of rock band Chumbawamba in attempt to arrest slide in England’s one-day form… insisting Jos Buttler’s men need ‘to get straight back up again’ following defeats against India and South Africa

  • What a season it has been so far for Joe Root, who gave up the Test captaincy 
  • Root was sublime in Test team’s transformation, hitting hundred against India
  • He has found life tougher along with white-ball team-mates in limited-overs slide
  • Root is convinced England are in safe hands with Jos Buttler now as captain

First came an Elvis Presley based celebration after being encouraged to think like a rock star. Now Joe Root has invoked the spirt of another slightly less celebrated musical act in attempting to kick-start England’s misfunctioning white-ball machine.

‘It’s like that song,’ said Root after England’s latest one-day defeat in the sweltering heat of Chester-le-Street. ‘Who was it by? Chumbawamba. You get knocked down and you get straight back up again. That is exactly how we need to go about things.

‘Our dressing room has got a lot of experienced players who, like myself, have been through it all and seen the lowest of the low.

Joe Root has invoked the spirt of Chumbawamba in an attempt to arrest England’s ODI slide

‘We know what that’s like and how quickly things can change. The schedule is tough and games are coming thick and fast but as players we can’t change that. So if you want to play you just have to crack on.’

What a season it has been for the man who gave up the Test captaincy and then saw his great friend Ben Stokes revitalise a team he had led to just one win in 17 games.

Root was sublime in that transformation, celebrating his match-winning hundred against India at Edgbaston with a wiggle of his finger taken from the new Elvis film that so engrossed Stokes.

But Root has found life tougher, along with his white-ball team-mates, in a limited-overs slide just as dramatic as the Test team’s rise.

Root was sublime in the Test team’s transformation, scoring a hundred against India

But Root has found life tougher, along with his white-ball team-mates, in a limited-overs slide

Now, with Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes gone, Root has a crucial role in helping another friend in Jos Buttler recover from a nightmare captaincy start that has seen him lose five of his first seven games in charge, the latest a crushing 62-run loss in the first one-day international to South Africa in what became Stokes last game.

‘I don’t think you need look too deeply into it,’ insisted Root, who made 86 in a losing cause in Durham after making just 11 runs in three ODIs against India. 

‘It’s more like the perfect storm of everything coming together. The more games we play as a team the easier it will become to have an understanding of our role, our position and how we want to play.

Root is convinced England are in safe hands in Eoin Morgan’s successor, Jos Buttler (right)

‘And when it doesn’t go well it’s really important you stay strong and stick to how you want to approach things as a group. You must fully believe in what you’re doing and back it. We’ve shown we can do that before and I’m confident we’ll be doing that again soon.’

Root is convinced England are in safe hands in Morgan’s successor. ‘Jos is going to be a great captain,’ he added. ‘I don’t think these results are a fair reflection of the way he’s going about his business as a leader.

‘Sometimes it does take time for things to bed in. I don’t think it will take long with him. I just think we’ve had a very busy time and a lot of players aren’t available because of injury. There has to be an understanding of that. And senior players like myself have to step up. We’ve all got to do our bit to turn this around.’

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