Joe Root backed England’s aggressive approach in their first Test defeat against Australia as the former captain admitted he wished he used Ben Stokes’ game plan at the start of his own reign.
Root was part of the England side beaten by two wickets in a thrilling conclusion to the opening Test of the Ashes series in Birmingham.
England’s commitment to the attacking principles of ‘Bazball’ was criticised in some quarters after skipper Stokes declared on the first day of the match.
But England’s players remain completely supportive of Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.
Now Root has joined the chorus, insisting the only thing he would change if he had his time again would be to bring a similarly aggressive style during his own reign.
Root led England in a record 64 Tests over five and a half years, walking away last April after overseeing a draining run of one win in 17.
Asked if England would like to reverse their decision to make the fastest declaration in Ashes history, Root said: “That’s not what we’re about as a team. If I could go back in time, I’d go back and start my captaincy tenure the way Ben has and try to play in a similar manner to how he does it.
“It’s far more exciting, far more interesting and I think we are getting more out of our team and our individuals. We’re playing better cricket to watch and producing better results overall.”
England’s all-guns-blazing style has revitalised their form after a dismal run prior to McCullum’s arrival.
Far from shying away from those principles, Root believes England will be even more committed to putting pressure on Australia when the teams meet in the second Test at Lord’s next week.
“A lot of times that would peter out to a draw. The wicket we had was very slow, it could have made for a long, mundane game, but the way we went about it we gave ourselves a great opportunity to win the Test match,” Root said.
“If are going to grow as a team we can’t just look at a couple of moments going against us and say ‘we need to do things differently’.
“If anything we need to double down on how we do it, completely back ourselves and make sure we get those one percents right at Lord’s.
“We feel like we’ve ran the game for five days and we might be on the wrong end of it but there’s still so much more to come in that dressing room. It’s a great spot to be in.”
© Agence France-Presse