'Not very good': Aussie legend's stunning takedown of Joe Root

England star Joe Root's captaincy has come under fire from former Aussie skipper Ian Chappell. Pic: Getty
England star Joe Root's captaincy has come under fire from former Aussie skipper Ian Chappell. Pic: Getty

Former Australia Test captain Ian Chappell has taken aim at England's Ashes skipper Joe Root ahead of the first Test at the Gabba, starting Wednesday.

Root is yet to name the make-up of England's XI for the first Test of the five-match series, with reports on Tuesday that fast bowler James Anderson is set to be replaced by Chris Woakes after being ruled out with a calf injury.

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That setback aside, Chappell insists Root's leadership shouldn't be an issue for the Aussies after declaring that the England skipper is not a "very good" captain.

"I wouldn't worry too much about his captaincy, I don't think that's very good. He's got an imagination problem that is important in Australia," Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

"His best chance with captaincy is if he takes quite a bit of advice from (Ben) Stokes, and Stokes establishes himself as a very aggressive player."

Australia's former Test captain also questioned why Root - as England's best batsman - doesn't bat himself at No.3 when the position has been a troublesome one for them in the past.

"I've always believed that you are better off coming in at one for not very many than two for not very many, and no one has really proved that they can bat at three," Chappell added.

"Joe has got all the credentials to bat at three, there's never going to be a better time for him to bat at No.3 because he's in terrific form, but he just won't seem to bat at No.3.

"He might get lucky in Australia, and No.3 it could be (Dawid) Malan, and Malan I think's a reasonably decent player.

"If Malan has a good series at three and keeps Joe away from the bowling for a while then it's got a chance at working.

"But, I wouldn't be trusting to luck, I'd be saying if I was Joe, 'I'm batting at three'".

Uncertainty surrounds England XI

On Sunday, newly appointed Aussie captain Pat Cummins named his starting XI for the first Test, but there are still question marks over the makeup of England's batting order on the eve of the Gabba opener.

The big talking points are whether the tourists retain Haseeb Hameed from their most recent Test against India in September or change the top three, and if Ollie Pope or Jonny Bairstow bats at No.6.

Anderson's absence also leaves fellow veteran paceman Stuart Broad with a heavy burden to bare for the tourists.

Seen here, James Anderson takes a break during an England nets session.
Veteran England quick James Anderson will reportedly miss the first Ashes Test due to a calf injury. Pic: Getty

Root brushed off any suggestion keeping his cards close to his chest was a way of keeping the Australians guessing.

"I'm not into mind games, I'm just not in a position right now to name my team," he said.

"Fair play that they've announced their XI. Doesn't really concern me or change anything from our perspective.

"We'll conduct our business how we want to and let you know when we're ready."

One player who will make his long-awaited return to Test cricket is Ben Stokes.

The superstar allrounder took 2-31 and scored an unbeaten 42 off 56 in a warm-up game against the England Lions in his first proper hit out since July last week in Brisbane.

The 30-year-old spent part of the year out of the game for personal reasons and looms as one of the tourist's biggest threats to Australia.

with AAP

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