Ashes 2021-22: Ponting slams Root's captaincy

By Sports Desk December 21, 2021

Ricky Ponting questioned Joe Root's leadership after the England captain's comments following the second Ashes Test.

England slumped to another heavy defeat in Adelaide as Australia cruised into a 2-0 series lead.

The tourists now head to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test in need of a victory to stand any chance of regaining the Ashes. Australia will retain the urn if they win or the match finishes as a draw.

A frustrated Root was critical of his side's display in his post-match media duties, and in particular England's bowlers as Australia accumulated 703 runs across their two innings.

"I think when you look at ball in hand in particular, I don't think we've bowled the right lengths if we're being brutally honest, we needed to bowl fuller," he said.

"As soon as we did in that second innings, we created so many chances and we made it hard work. We need to do that more, we need to get the ball up there, be a bit braver because when we do, we make life difficult."

These comments, however, annoyed former Australia skipper Ponting, who told cricket.au: "I nearly fell off my seat when I heard that!

"Whose job is it then to make them change? Why are you captain then?

"If you can't influence your bowlers on what length to bowl, what are you doing on the field?

"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 also suggested England bowled better when Root was off the field at the start of day four.

"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."

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