After a crushing defeat in Adelaide, the England skipper had blamed his bowlers for not bowling the right lengths
Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has slammed Joe Root for criticising England bowlers after his side’s second consecutive defeat in the ongoing Ashes series, saying as the leader it is his responsibility to ensure the strategy is followed.
Root didn’t hold back after England’s 275-run defeat to Australia in the second Test that saw the tourists fall behind 0-2 in the five-match series. The 30-year-old blamed his bowlers for not bowling the right lengths, especially in the first innings.
“I nearly fell off my seat when I heard that. Whose job is it then to make them change? Why are you captain then?” Ponting was quoted as saying by ‘cricket.com.au’.
“If you can’t influence your bowlers on what length to bowl, what are you doing on the field?” Ponting, who led Australia to two World Cup titles, said the onus is on Root to influence his bowlers.
“Joe Root can come back and say whatever he likes but if you’re captain, you’ve got to be able to sense when your bowlers aren’t bowling where you want them to.
“And if they’re not going to listen, you take them off, simple as that. Give someone else a chance that is going to do it for you. Or you have a really strong conversation with them on the field to tell them what you need.
“That’s what captaincy is all about,” Ponting said.
Root had said England were making the same mistakes they did during their 0-4 series defeat in 2017-18. To which Ponting said as skipper one needs to be firm with the bowlers if they are not executing the captain’s plan.
“Regardless of whether they have taken (more than) 1150 wickets between them – well, too bad.
“I need you to bowl differently here to how you bowl in England, I need you to bowl differently to how you bowled four years ago, and if you’re not willing to do it then I’ll find someone that can – that should have been the conversation five overs into day one.
“If they had that (conversation) maybe the result could have been different.” Ponting felt the only time England bowled fuller lengths was on day four when Ben Stokes was leading in the absence of Root, who was off the field due to a groin injury.
“The interesting thing for me is the only time they bowled full in the game was when Joe Root wasn’t on the ground,” he said.
“The start of day four when they had a meeting on the ground before play started, Ben Stokes took over the captaincy, and that was the only time in the game they pitched the ball up.” Ponting feels that there will be “some real selection dramas” in the tourists’ camp ahead of the Boxing Day Test.
“Every message that they’ve sent so far has seemed like a confused one. Even their bowling coach last night said that in hindsight ‘we (might have) picked the wrong team’.
“Well I think we all knew you picked the wrong team before the game started, I’m not sure what the hindsight thing is.”