Joe Root says England can’t have best players all the time but Darren Gough thinks captain will be FURIOUS after India humbling
Joe Root conceded it’s not possible to have his best squad available all the time, but Darren Gough thinks the England captain with be livid with his options for the India series.
The tourists were humbled 3-1 in the four Test series despite going 1-0 up.
The final two matches lasted a combined five days with England losing by ten wickets and then by an innings and 25 runs.
The policy of rest and rotation has come under scrutiny with multi-format players Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood missing chunks of the series due to fears about burnout in the bubble with a busy year ahead.
Root gave a diplomatic answer when quizzed about the policy following the fourth Test defeat.
“It is what it is. As an England captain, and captain of any team, you always want your best players available all of the time, but it doesn’t work like that,” Root told talkSPORT.
“In the environment we’re in right now, it’s important players’ welfare is paramount. We need to make sure that guys are looked after so that we get consistently good performances in all three formats.
“We can moan about it, make excuses but we’ve got a fine squad of players.
“It has been quite disappointing that we’ve not performed to our potential and to repeat that first Test performance.
“It is an inexperienced side so it’s important we take those lessons forward.”
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Former England fast bowler Gough thinks privately the skipper will be more angry than he’s letting on, however.
“Joe Root, if I were him, I’d be livid. He’s almost on the verge of saying it,” Gough told talkSPORT.
“The buck falls with the captain in cricket, it’s not like football where it goes to the manager or coach, it goes to the captain.
“He’s been captain now for 50 Tests and he would have wanted this battle with India with his best XI, but the preference has been for the T20 squad.
“You look at the guys who have come home for a couple of weeks, some of them have come home for about eight days, you’ve got Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow came back for the last two Test matches.
“You have Sam Curran, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, who are all going to play in the T20 series.
“The T20 World Cup is not until October. You’ve got T20 internationals before that and the IPL.
“If I were one of those players I’d want to play in a Test series against India, 100 per cent.”
Gough conceded that India were just the better all round team and were deserved winners of the series.
Besides Joe Root, the England batters failed with just three players passing 50 – none made more than 55.
Jack Leach proved his worth with 18 wickets but there was a lack of a reliable second spinner. Dom Bess was rested for the two middle games of the series and was very much learning on the job and struggled at times.
Gough said: “We’ve had the best of the conditions. We’ve won three of the four tosses of the coin. Everyone was saying this was going to be a big part of the series and going on to win it.
“There has been a huge gap in the quality of spinners in both sides. That’s been obvious.
“I think the seam department has been even at this stage. I know we’ve got the great Jimmy Anderson, the GOAT, but they’ve goat good bowlers themselves whether that be Bumrah, Siraj, who is young, and Ishant Sharma.
“When it comes down to the batting, they’ve got match winners. They’ve got guys who can take the game away from the opposition and we’ve got Joe Root.
“That’s what it’s come down to. They’ve got a better team than we have.”