England Test captain Joe Root has backed head coach Chris Silverwood, admitting that the players have ‘let him down’.
England have endured a disastrous Ashes series down under against rivals Australia, after the hosts won the opening three matches to take the famous urn with two Tests still left to play.
The visitors did display some pride in the fourth Test after they battled their way to a hard-fought draw, ensuring the Aussies were unable to come away with a series whitewash win.
Despite this, questions continue to be asked about coach Silverwood, with calls for the 46-year-old to stand down following the end of the series.
However, one man who has stood by the side of Silverwood is his captain Root, who believes it is in fact the playing staff that have let down their head coach.
He said: “I think the performances we put in during the first three games, I feel we’ve let him and the coaches down to a degree.
“I think he’s very calm, he has the respect of the guys in the group and he’s got a desperation to see everyone do well.
“It was a difficult week for the group of players with him not being around and it must have been very difficult for him.”
Tough COVID-19 regulations have no doubt taken a toll on the England setup in recent times, with many spending the majority of their time away from home to remain in the team’s long-lasting bubble.
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And no one more so than coach Silverwood, who has overseen England’s ventures throughout the pandemic since taking over in 2019.
As a result, Root therefore believes the demands of the head coach role means the 46-year-old deserves sympathy for his efforts.
He added: “I think he’s had a very difficult time with the environments we’ve been living in.
“We’re trying to manage winning games of cricket with bubble environments away from home.
“For a long time we’ve not been able to put our best teams out because we’ve been constantly trying to make sure from a mental well-being point of view everyone is looked after properly.
"That’s down to the schedule we’ve dealt with over two years.”
The disappointment in Australia has led to plenty of questions being asked about the situation England’s red ball cricket has found itself in within the modern game.
Of course the Indian Premier League has proven to be one of the sport’s most eye-catching and attractive tournaments to play in for any international player.
England players have until the end of this week to decide whether they will put their names down to potentially compete in this year’s edition, however Root is still undecided on his decision as he is seemingly looking to put Test cricket first.
The England skipper commented: “The thing I will weigh up is: will it have a negative impact on me playing Test cricket?
“I will never compromise or do anything that will detract from playing Test cricket for England.
“It is so important to make sure that is the priority for me and other players as well.”
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