Ashes 2019: Joe Root should continue as captain, says ex-assistant coach Paul Farbrace

Yorkshire batsman Joe Root took over the Test captaincy from Alastair Cook in 2017
Yorkshire batsman Joe Root took over the Test captaincy from Alastair Cook in 2017

Joe Root should continue to captain England and the coaching set-up should not be split between the Test side and teams in shorter formats, says former assistant coach Paul Farbrace.

Australia's fourth-Test win saw them retain the urn, and England must now win the final Test to avoid a first home Ashes series loss since 2001.

"Root is England's best player," Farbrace told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Until this summer his record as Test captain has been very good."

He added: "And yes, his runs average has dropped while he has been captain [from 52.8 to 38.4] - that has happened to every captain that has ever played the game probably."

The 28-year-old, who took over the role at the beginning of 2017, also led the side to a 4-0 series defeat in Australia in 2017-18.

However, his 50% win ratio overall as skipper is better than all but Michael Vaughan's in the past 38 years.

Farbrace added: "We need other people at the top of the order to score runs. It isn't just Joe Root."

'Root has to take team by scruff of neck'

Media playback is not supported on this device

Ashes highlights: England battle but Australia retain the urn

England have not lost a home Test series since 2014, when they were beaten 1-0 by Sri Lanka.

Root played in the Sri Lanka series as a batsman and was not appointed captain until Alastair Cook stepped down in February 2017.

England have won 16 of their 32 Tests under Root's captaincy but have suffered 13 defeats, with just three draws.

"I feel a little bit sorry for Root but I think he's got to start putting his foot down a little bit," ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell told Radio 5 Live's Tuffers and Vaughan show.

"He has got to take this team by the scruff of the neck, talk to the selectors and put in his building blocks, because it looks a bit of a muddled team to me."

Vaughan, who oversaw England's Ashes victory in 2005, said Root and England had to decide "what style of team they want".

"It looks to me like they've suddenly realised the flamboyant, limited-overs style cricket they were trying to play, it's not going to be successful," Vaughan said.

"In two and a half years in Australia, they're not going to win by batting 80 overs. They're going to win by batting 130 overs in the first innings and getting 450, 500.

"They've got to buy into, as a group, to batting long and wearing the opposition down."

'There needs to be one coach'

Media playback is not supported on this device

'What a blow that is for England' - Stokes walks after thin inside edge

Head coach Trevor Bayliss is set to leave his role when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Former captain Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 Live that the 56-year-old Australian did a better job with the white-ball team than the red-ball team and suggested it is "almost impossible" for one person to coach the Test, one-day and Twenty20 teams.

But when asked whether the coaching set-up should be split, Farbrace said: "England have tried that before and it didn't work last time.

"I think there just needs to be one person, but maybe the balance does need to shift back towards red-ball cricket.

"We had a massive focus on white-ball cricket, and that has been very successful - England won the World Cup for the first time this year.

"There was a massive emphasis on trying to do that and it's been tough trying to win the Ashes and the World Cup in the same year. And at the end of the day, the Australians are a better team and deserve to win this series."

The fifth and final Test begins at the Oval on Thursday.

Top Stories