Chris Silverwood believes Joe Root has the potential to be “one of the great England captains” after breaking Michael Vaughan’s record for most Test wins.
Root secured his 27th Test win as England crushed India by an innings and 76 runs to level the five-match series at 1-1 with two to play.
While Root is now England’s most successful Test captain, Vaughan believes the 30-year-old will “not go down as a great captain until he beats Australia”.
Root has drawn one and lost one of his two Ashes series against Australia, with a third coming up this winter.
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Asked about Root’s claim to being one of the greats, England head coach Silverwood said: “There is potential there for him to be one of the great England captains.
“It’s great that Joe has got that record, nobody can take that away from him, he has achieved that. If we win the Ashes we can have this conversation again.
“I think he is learning all the time. At Lord’s he reflected on some of the decisions he made, and so did I, he learns as he is going along, that is a great characteristic for a captain to have.
“He can reflect back honestly on what happened and make a difference and he certainly made a difference this game.”
If Root’s place as an all-time great England captain can be debated, his current form is beyond scrutiny.
Root has scored six Test centuries this year, including three in this series, the most recent a sparkling 121 off 165 balls on the second day at Headingley.
“Joe and I have a very good and strong relationship,” added Silverwood.
“We get on well and set the game plan up, when I first came in we decided what type of cricket we want to play. We both stuck to that task and help each other out. To see him go on and become England’s most successful Test captain was superb, something I have been looking forward to seeing for a while.
“To see him get over the line and become the most successful captain, and equally see him be so successful with the bat, is just fantastic. He is in a great place at the moment and I really enjoy watching him.”
‘Relentless’ Robinson, Wood and Woakes in contention
Ollie Robinson was another standout performer in the third Test and won the man-of-the-match award after taking seven wickets.
Asked about Robinson’s potential, Silverwood said: “He’s certainly put his best foot forward, you look at the performances he has put out there.
“He does the basics very well. If there’s any movement there he finds it. He is relentless with the way he attacks he stumps, he has a lot of really good attributes and there is nothing to say he won’t have a really good career in front of him if he stays fit and keeps doing what he is doing. He is tall, extracts bounce, has a high release point, he has a lot going for him.”
The fourth Test against India starts at The Oval on Thursday, and Silverwood says bowlers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes are both in contention for selection.
Wood missed the third Test with a shoulder injury while Woakes is back to full fitness and played for Birmingham Bears on Friday.
Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler could be a doubt as his wife is awaiting the birth of their second child, but Jonny Bairstow is ready to take the gloves if needed.
“I am confident Jonny can do the job if asked, and Jonny would want to do the job if asked,” said Silverwood.
“We have already had those conversations. He is happy to do that.”
England’s win over India ended a run of seven Tests without a victory, but Silverwood says he was never worried that his position as head coach could be under threat.
“Personally it was a great win for me, but to be honest I don’t worry about my position. It’s something I make a conscious effort not to because I think it will cloud my judgement.
“I have got to continue to make decisions that are best for the team regardless of my situation with the team coming first and that’s why I try to do.”
The victory at Headingley marked an impressive turnaround for England after they were beaten on a remarkable last day at Lord’s in the second Test.
England dominated from the off in the third Test as they bowled India out for 78 on the first day and then racked up a huge lead before wrapping things up on the fourth day.
“It shows the character in the group,” says Silverwood. “There was a quiet confidence going into the game with the way we trained and prepared and to see that bear out on the field was fantastic. I thought we were relentless with the ball and created big partnerships with the bat. It shows the character and confidence in the group.
“The key is getting on top of them. We know they are a very good team and once they get on top it’s difficult to stop them. We got out of the traps quickest this time, we put the pressure on them and kept them on the back foot. It shows what you can do if you put teams under pressure.”
Watch day one of the fourth Test between England and India at the Kia Oval from 10am, Thursday on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event.
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