February 3, 2023

First came an Elvis Presley based party after they were encouraged to think like a rock star. Now Joe Root has invoked the ghost of another slightly less celebrated musical act in an effort to kick-start England’s malfunctioning white ball machine.

“It’s like that song,” Root said after England’s last one-day defeat in the blistering heat of Chester-le-Street. ‘Whose was it? Chumbawamba. You get knocked down and you immediately get up again. That’s exactly how we should approach things.

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

Joe Root Has Invoked Chumbawamba’s Ghost 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 come thick and fast, but as players we can’t change that. So if you want to play, just keep going.’

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

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

But Root has found life more difficult, along with his white-ball teammates, in a slide with limited overs, just as dramatic as the rise of the test team.

But Root has found life more difficult, along with his white-ball teammates, in a slide with limited overs

With Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes gone, Root plays a pivotal role in helping another friend in Jos Buttler recover from a nightmarish captaincy in which he lost the lead five of his first seven games, the last a crushing defeat of 62 points in the first one-day international to South Africa in what became Stokes’ last game.

“I don’t think you should look too deeply into it,” insisted Root, who earned 86 in a lost cause in Durham after scoring just 11 runs in three ODIs against India.

“It’s more like the perfect storm where everything comes together. The more games we play as a team, the easier it becomes to understand our role, our position and how we want to play.

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

‘And if things don’t go well, it’s very important that you stay strong and stick to how you want to do things as a group. You have to fully believe in what you are doing and support it. We’ve shown we can do that before and I’m confident we’ll do it again soon.”

Root is convinced that England is 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 good reflection of the way he’s approaching his business as a leader.

“Sometimes it takes a while for things to settle in bed. I don’t think it will last long with him. I just think we’ve had a very busy time and a lot of players are unavailable due to injury. There must be understanding for that. And senior players like me should stand up. We all have to do our part to turn this around.’

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