Joe Root has once again claimed England can take ‘a lot of positives’ from their series defeat to West Indies despite mounting pressure on his captaincy.
England have won just one of their last 17 Test matches and have lost five consecutive series after a 10-wicket thrashing in Grenada saw them lose 1-0 overall in the Caribbean.
Root, who has led the side in a record 64 Tests, remains confident he can turn around England’s flagging fortunes ahead of summer fixtures against New Zealand, India and South Africa.
Joe Root has again insisted England could take ‘a lot of positives’ from their series defeat to West Indies despite the continuation of an awful run of just one win in 17 Test matches
Calls are growing for Root to resign the captaincy after a run of five consecutive series losses
But many prominent figures believe Root shouldn’t continue as captain, with Michael Atherton describing his position as ‘untenable,’ Michael Vaughan criticising his ‘poor’ tactics and Nasser Hussain saying Ben Stokes should take over.
In a social media post, defiant Root wrote: ‘A difficult defeat to take because I think there were a lot of positives to come from the way we played for the vast majority of this series.
‘Thank you to our amazing fans out here in the Caribbean and congratulations to [Windies captain] Kraigg [Brathwaite] and his team.
‘After a long winter, it’s time to take a break and recharge ahead of the summer, but I believe in the future of this team.’
England did have the upper hand in the first two Tests in Antigua and Barbados but the Windies batters managed to thwart their victory push with dogged resistance.
West Indies took the three-match series 1-0 following their 10-wicket victory in Grenada
Ben Stokes consoles Root as England walk from the field following their 10-wicket defeat
But in the decider, the Windies were able to establish a 93-run first innings lead thanks largely to an unbeaten century by Joshua Da Silva.
When England were skittled for just 120 in their second innings, the hosts only needed to knock off a tiny total to win the series.
It only piled on the misery for Root and England’s under-performing team after they were battered 4-0 by Australia in the Ashes.
The defeat was also an inauspicious start for England’s so-called ‘red ball reset’, after senior personnel Chris Silverwood, Ashley Giles and Graham Thorpe were culled after the Ashes.
Former captain Atherton, writing in The Times, said: ‘Root’s captaincy is untenable, and he must surely know it deep down.
Root posted this follow-up tweet talking about his need to ‘recharge’ ahead of the summer
‘As was obvious to anyone who was in Australia, and should have been obvious to anyone who wasn’t, Root has reached the end of the road as captain.’
Vaughan, talking to BBC Radio 5 Live, said: ‘He’s taken it as far as he possibly can.
‘Tactically he has been poor. It has been a common trend under Joe – he hasn’t managed to grab a game.
‘If he does carry on he’ll really need someone who can drive the tactical side of the game with him.’
Hussain, another former England captain, believes all-rounder Stokes, currently Root’s deputy, is the man to lead the team forward.
Writing for Sportsmail, Hussain said: ‘The best candidate is Ben Stokes – so long as he’s in the right frame of mind.
‘Whoever becomes director of cricket needs to get straight up the A1 and talk to him to find out how he’s shaping because, trust me, captaining England requires total commitment.
Sportsmail’s Nasser Hussain believes the best candidate to succeed Root is Ben Stokes
‘It’s the best job in the world but you can’t do it if your thoughts are elsewhere.
‘Stokes would also need to decide if he can add to his burden of being an all-format player but I’d have no doubts about his cricket brain.’
Kevin Pietersen sprung to Root’s defence, however, telling talkSPORT: ‘Who else is going to captain them?
‘You are only as good as your players. As a coach you are only good as your players and as a captain you are only as good as your players.
‘My question is who is going to take over and who is going to do a better job with the players they’ve got?
Kevin Pietersen (right) has defended Joe Root amid calls for him to resign as England captain
‘Forget Joe Root, it’s about the players. Who is going to do a better job with the calibre of players playing Test cricket for England?
‘Don’t point fingers at Joe Root. Understand the setup, the setup stinks.’
England’s Test side return to action on June 2 when they play New Zealand at Lord’s.