Chris Woakes says Joe Root still has the team’s backing as captain

England’s fast bowler Chris Woakes has endorsed the leadership of Captain Joe Root, despite the horrific way the team got into shape in red ball cricket in 2021.

England won just four of their 15 events in 2021, including one of their 12 most recent matches.

The final nail was an embarrassing display at the Boxing Day Test, where they were thrown in the second inning for just 68 runs.

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Woakes, however, says Root’s leadership is not to blame.

“Joe is a great cricketer with a great cricket brain. Hopefully he can continue. [as captain]”he told BBC Sport.

Regardless of Root’s captain skills, there can be no question that without his hitting form, a terrible year could have been substantially worse.

“We haven’t been able to hit well around him,” Woakes said.

“You would expect that we would probably have much stronger performances than we do.”

Woakes says Root “absolutely” still has the backing of the players.

A steamy series now moves to Sydney, where England will try to regain some pride after losing the Ashes.

They will be without coach Chris Silverwood, who will miss Test Four from the Ashes in Sydney after being forced into isolation.

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