England captain Joe Root stated that his bowlers should have been a “bit braver” and bowled fuller instead of the lengths they were using. Former Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, didn’t take the words kindly and lashed out at Root for the comment.
In the second Ashes Test, much similar to the first one, the English bowlers resorted to a back of a length plan instead of bowling fuller. It didn’t work out for them as the Aussie batsmen easily negotiated the deliveries. At the post-match presentation, Root said they needed to be braver.
“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. That’s what captaincy is all about,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“Only time they pitched the ball up was when Root was off the field” – Ricky Ponting
Prior to the start of Day 4’s play, Root was off the field after taking a blow in the abdominal region. He didn’t take the field so Ben Stokes took over. This period of play was where England bowlers looked the most threatening as they began bowling full-length balls.
“The interesting thing for me is the only time they bowled full in the game was when Joe Root wasn’t on the ground. The start of day four when they had a meeting on the ground before play started, Stokes took over the captaincy, and that was the only time in the game they pitched the ball up,” Ponting added.
Australia won the second Test by 275 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series. The third Test will be played at the MCG from December 26.