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Joe Root backs ‘brilliant captain’ Jos Buttler to stay as skipper

Joe Root received his MBE on Wednesday (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Joe Root received his MBE on Wednesday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Joe Root has backed under-pressure Jos Buttler to remain as England’s limited-overs captain.

England’s defeat to Australia at the T20 World Cup has left them facing a battle to make the knockout stages, which, coming on the back of last year’s dismal defence of their 50-over World Cup crown, has piled the pressure on captain Buttler.

But former Test skipper Root is confident Buttler can guide England into the latter stages, starting with victory in their crunch clash with Oman on Thursday.

Asked if Buttler should stay on, Root said: “Jos is one of my good friends. I think he’s a brilliant captain so I don’t think there’s any question.

England captain Jos Buttler
England captain Buttler is under pressure (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

“I think they’ll be absolutely fine, they’ve got a wonderful squad of players. They know exactly what they need to do.

“When it’s all laid out and they’ve got their backs to the wall, which they have in this situation now, is when they play their best cricket.

“It could really bring the best out of them so I’ve got no worries whatsoever.

“If they go out and do what they all know that they’re capable of doing, we’ll be finding ourselves in the Super 8s and the back-end of the tournament where it really matters to play our best stuff.”

Root, 33, was made an MBE for services to cricket at Windsor Castle on Wednesday by the Princess Royal.

Root believes cricket can give opportunities to children both on and off the field as he vowed to “give back” to the game.

The right-hander, England’s second-highest Test run-scorer of all time, also said he wanted cricket to be a sport for everyone and praised the development of the women’s game.

He said: “When you’ve played a little while and you’ve quite a bit of experience like I have, that’s a responsibility that you’re very aware of and something that you want to try and give back.

“You want to give back to the game as much as you can and try and encourage as many young boys and girls to take up the game because of the opportunities, not just on the field and stuff, but off the field that I’ve been able to experience through cricket.”

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Joe Root is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Princess Royal (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Root was the leading run-scorer in the side that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Asked what his message to aspiring cricketers was, he said: “It sounds quite a negative thing, but cricket is a game of failure.

“And I think being able to embrace failure, to understand that it’s part and parcel of the sport, that gives you opportunities to learn and grow and get better.”

Asked about the current state of English cricket, he said: “I think there’s always areas that you want to improve.

“It’s been amazing to see the women’s game grow as much as it has at the speed it has as well. And hopefully that can continue.”