Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

6 January 2014

South Africa: Cricket - Joe Root, England Selection Carousel's Cruel Casualty

analysis

As the English Ashes debacle wore on and the disaster continued to unravel, Joe Root became a casualty in the desperate selection merry-go-round. England's continued mistreatment of one of their young stars has been one the cruellest symptoms of their continued plummet to new depths.

Over the course of the next few days and perhaps weeks, the England think-tank will sit down and try to decipher where it all went so horribly wrong that they were hammered 5-0 by Australia in the Ashes. There will be many answers, but England will do well to keep in mind how their mistreatment of young players has been a blight on creating harmony in the squad. One player who has been particularly mistreated is Joe Root.

Root, a promising young talent, as the cliché goes, has been one of the cruellest casualties of a system which cannot decide how it wants to plan for the future. When Andrew Strauss retired, following South Africa's tour of England in 2012, it was all aboard their panic stations as England tried to find a new opener. Nick Compton was handed that task and made his debut against India in India a few months...

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