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Captaincy had started to ‘take a toll on me’; ‘felt like a bit of a zombie’, admits Joe Root

London : Former England skipper Joe Root has revealed he had to relinquish Test captaincy as it had started to “take a toll” on him and also made him feel “like a bit of a zombie almost”.The 31-year-old batter, while scoring runs aplenty, saw England’s fortunes in the longest format of the game nose-dive during the latter part of his captaincy tenure, with the 4-0 Ashes loss in Australia and the 1-0 defeat to the West Indies being his most prominent debacles.

Root relinquished captaincy following the West Indies tour to be replaced by all-rounder Ben Stokes, while head coach Chris Silverwood made way for New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum. England have now won six of the seven Tests they have played under the new leadership group.

“The captaincy was starting to take a toll on me,” Root told Daily Mail on Sunday. “It was getting to the point where I wasn’t really present at home. The limited time I did get to spend with family, which should be enjoyed and treasured, I wasn’t able to do that.

I wasn’t really there. I came to realise that that had been the case for a little while. “I was there but there were times when I was thinking about something I couldn’t control or something that hadn’t happened previously.

You go in on yourself. We would still do what we would normally do as a family but I would not be listening. I just felt like a bit of a zombie almost.”Root said his attitude had started affecting his family, adding it was a “very difficult decision” to make.

“I could see it frustrating the kids because I wasn’t properly playing with them or I was talking to Carrie and I would zone out. I could start seeing it have an impact on me as a person. You want to bring your personality to the role, not bring the role to your personality.

It was reversing into something slightly unhealthy. It was a very difficult decision because it is such a fantastic role to get the honour to do and I loved doing it. I was also trying to make the right decision not just for myself but most importantly for what the team required at that point,” added Root.

Root added that Rob Key becoming England’s Managing Director of men’s cricket really turned things around.”It was a real opportunity for a fresh start with Rob Key coming in as the new managing director of England men’s cricket and a new coach coming in, for us to go and do things very differently.”




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