Root thanks players after becoming England’s most successful Test captain

A smiling and mellow Joe Root was delighted to overtake Michael Vaughan to become England’s most successful Test captain. The overwhelming innings win over India, a slam dunk before lunch on the fourth day, at Root’s home ground, notched up his 27th win in 55 games.

“I couldn’t be more proud, proud to have gone past Michael,” he said. “But you don’t do that on your own as a captain, it’s down to the group of players and the coaching staff as well. It’s all one big thing.

“You’re the one making the decisions but they are the ones going out and time and time again putting in performances.

“As frustrating as the last period has been for us, we have had to deal with some difficulties, but we’ve shown huge character to be able to put in a performance like that on the back of the way last week turned out.”

His counterpart, Virat Kohli, had less to be pleased about. “We thought the pitch was good to bat on, coming on nicely. But the discipline forced mistakes and the pressure was relentless.

“We did well to stay in the game yesterday, fight back as much as we could, and gave ourselves a chance but the pressure was outstanding from the England bowlers.”

Even after seven games without a win, dating back to the tour of India in the winter, a succession of injuries, Ben Stokes’s temporary withdrawal from the game and that rag-tag last day at Lord’s, Root’s heart is still in the job.

“I have not put a time limit on it. As long as I am enjoying it, and I feel like I am the right person to take this team forward, that will be my focus.”

He even gave himself a little pat on the back for his handling of his most precious, if increasingly fragile, resources. “I’m feeling hugely privileged to have Jimmy [Anderson] and Stuart [Broad] throughout my tenure as captain. To have those players at my disposal has been exceptional.

“Being a bit cheeky, you look at both of their records and I think they’ve probably performed best under my leadership, so I’m going to take a little bit of credit for how good they’ve been in recent times as well, making them bowl a little bit fuller and creating a few more chances. It has been great to get the most out of them.”

With that he joined his teammates to celebrate, followed by a golden afternoon on the outfield. There, in his socks, he and Jos Buttler, and later Anderson, played cricket for more than an hour with their young children.

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