Time’s up for bad-team bully Joe Root. How about Captain Broad? | Tim de Lisle

Andrew Strauss reset England’s white-ball team successfully; now he should dismiss Chris Silverwood and find a new Test leader

Seven weeks ago, at the start of the Ashes, Joe Root made a strikingly clear statement. “Of course it will define my captaincy,” he said. “I’m not naive enough to think that it won’t.”

He was right and there’s no wriggling out of it now. To lose one Ashes series 4-0 may be regarded as a misfortune, as long as the captain is inexperienced. To lose two that heavily, when you have been in charge for more Tests than any other England captain, looks like a reason to resign.

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County cricket structure tweaked for 2022 as ECB accepts change is on way

  • Fixture list includes more red-ball cricket in June and July
  • T20 schedule features 10 men’s and women’s double-headers

The ECB has revealed a tweaked county structure for 2022 that returns more red-ball cricket to mid-summer but does not rip up everything and throw it to the wolves.

After the summer scheduling came in for heavy criticism following England’s 4-0 Ashes drubbing, Neil Snowball, the ECB’s managing director of county cricket, accepted that change was on the way. He confirmed that 2022 was an interim year based more on autumn reaction from the counties than the winter’s mishaps.

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Ben Stokes set to join England captain Joe Root in missing this year’s IPL

  • All-rounder featured in last four seasons of T20 tournament
  • He also decides to skip auction following gruelling Ashes tour

Ben Stokes is set to join Joe Root in making himself unavailable for this year’s Indian Premier League auction following England’s Ashes defeat in Australia. The all-rounder has featured in the last four seasons of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, playing for the now defunct Rising Pune Supergiant franchise on a £1.7m deal in 2017 – and winning the MVP award – before joining Rajasthan Royals the following year for £1.3m.

Stokes was released by the Royals after missing the bulk of last year’s campaign through injury, but as a fast bowling all-rounder he was expected to attract another bumper contract when the world’s best players go under the hammer on 12 and 13 February. However, amid an ever-crunched international schedule made even more gruelling by the pandemic, and having only returned from a four-month break to address a finger injury and his mental health before the recent Ashes campaign, the 30-year-old is understood not to have registered his name for 2022.

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England are collapse specialists but Hobart ignominy sets new low | Tanya Aldred

Rory Burns and Zak Crawley put on England’s first opening stand of more than 50 in the series before old failings returned

At least it was quick. The final ignominy over in less than two hours, from Rory Burns to Ollie Robinson with barely time for a scratch and a sniff: 10 wickets for 56 runs in 22 overs. Out of a paper bag into the ashes.

It was Mark Wood’s face that said it all. He’d just produced the best bowling of his Test career, six for 37, a high-class bouncefest to haul England back into the match by their gammy toenails, short-pitched menace with a smile, hurling that woodchip body into the unwilling Tasmanian ground. Reward at last for seven weeks of wholehearted toil. Yet there he was, less than four hours later, plodding off the Bellerive Oval, the ninth wicket to fall in an innings of sorrows, dragging on after slapping Pat Cummins for a couple of fours over extra-cover – just for the lols. Helmet off, mouth set, eyes empty, head down, homeward he trod. This tour has sapped even Wood’s joie de vivre – an achievement, of sorts.

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Joe Root insists he would ‘love to turn things around’ as England captain – video

Joe Root says he wants the opportunity to stay on in his role and that his team are going through a 'real tough stage'. Speaking after the final Ashes test, Root admitted that England had not 'given a fair account' of themselves and said 'Australia are a better team'. 

Australia won the final test by 146 runs, winning the Ashes 4-0.

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Joe Root wants to lead England into new era despite final Ashes humiliation

  • England’s latest collapse leads to 4-0 defeat to Australia
  • Root: ‘I’d love the opportunity to take this team forward’

Joe Root has declared himself ready to lead England’s Test team into a new and potentially more successful era after their latest miserable collapse saw them lose all 10 wickets for 56 runs under the Hobart floodlights to surrender the fifth Test and conclude a one-sided Ashes series with a final act that skirted the border between tragedy and farce.

“I’d love the opportunity to take this team forward and turn things round,” said Root, who has now won 27 of 61 matches as captain over four and a half years. “At the minute we’re going through a real tough period. Performances haven’t been good. But I believe I’m the right man to take this team forward. If that decision is taken out of my hands then so be it, but I’d love the opportunity to take this team forward, and yes I do have the appetite to carry on and turn things around.”

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‘I absolutely loved it’: Sam Billings upbeat about batting debut despite England struggle – video

England endured another difficult day of Ashes cricket after disappointing with the bat once again, but the debutant Sam Billings has 'loved every minute' of his unexpected chance.

Billings was preparing to leave Australia after a stint with Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League when injuries to Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow led to him being drafted in as emergency cover. He duly swapped a flight home for the chance of a Test debut and has thrown himself into the challenge, scoring a lively 29.

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