Joe Root on Friday stepped down as England’s Test captain after completing five years of tenure in the role. After being under extreme pressure in the aftermath of England’s dismal performance in red-ball cricket in Australia and the West Indies, Root decided to quit the Test captaincy.
Root took over the reins from Sir Alastair Cook in February 2017 and will end up as England’s most-capped Test captain. Root led England in 64 Test matches having won 27 and losing 26 while 11 games resulted in a draw.
Root holds the record for the most number of matches and wins as England Mens Test captain. His 27 victories put him ahead of Michael Vaughan (26), Sir Alastair Cook, and Sir Andrew Strauss (24 each).
After being appointed as Sir Alastair Cooks successor in 2017, Root led the side to a number of famous series victories, including a 4-1 home series win over India in 2018 and a 3-1 triumph away to South Africa in 2020. In 2018 he became the first England Mens Captain to win a Test series in Sri Lanka since 2001, a feat he went on to repeat with a 2-0 victory in Sri Lanka in 2021.
He is already England’s second-highest Test run-scorer of all time behind only Cook and scored 14 centuries as Captain. His tally of 5,295 runs as skipper is the highest by any England captain and puts him 5th in the all-time list behind only Graeme Smith, Alan Border, Ricky Ponting, and Virat Kohli.
“After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England Men’s Test captain. It has been the most challenging decision I have had to make in my career but having discussed this with my family and those closest to me; I know the timing is right.
"I am immensely proud to have captained my country and will look back on the past five years with enormous pride. It has been an honour to have done the job and to have been a custodian of what is the pinnacle of English cricket.
"I have loved leading my country, but recently its hit home how much of a toll it has taken on me and the impact it has had on me away from the game.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, Carrie, Alfred and Bella, who have lived it all with me and been incredible pillars of love and support throughout. All of the players, coaches and support staff that have helped me during my tenure. It has been a great privilege to have been with them on this journey.
"I would also like to thank all the England supporters for their unwavering support. We are lucky to have the best fans in the world, and wherever we play, that positivity is something we always cherish and admire, which is a huge drive for all of us out there.
"I am excited to continue representing the Three Lions and producing performances that will enable the team to succeed. I look forward to helping the next captain, my teammates and coaches in whatever way I can."