'Took offence': England great fumes over Joe Root comments

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Joe Root's blunt assessment of England's bowling in the second Ashes Test has left several former players unimpressed. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Joe Root's blunt assessment of England's bowling in the second Ashes Test has left several former players unimpressed. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

England captain Joe Root's criticism of his bowling attack in the wake of the second Ashes Test has gone down like a lead balloon back home.

The visiting bowling attack was belted from pillar to post in Adelaide, with England opting for an all-pace attack supplemented only by Root's part time off spin.

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The result was a brutal drubbing, prompting heavy criticism of England's selections and bowling strategy.

England bowled quite short to the home side for the majority of their first innings, leading to widespread criticism of their tactics - which Root himself seemed to concur with.

After the match the English captain suggested he too had wanted his bowlers to deliver at a fuller length throughout the Test - but that admission left several cricket greats questioning his judgement.

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison said he found Root's comments 'offensive' and suggested such an approach would never have been taken with England's bowling attack in days gone by.

“What Joe said straight after the game, I took offence to a little bit,” he said.

“If (Michael) Vaughan had done that to me, Hoggard, Flintoff and Jones, I don’t think he would’ve been getting through the changing room door before one of us had confronted him.

“I understand what he’s saying — England did need to bowl that little bit fuller … (but) when we’re bowling that little bit fuller, and we are creating those chances, we’re not catching them.”

It wasn't just former England stars who were bemused by Root's comments either.

Joe Root's post-match comments savaged by Ricky Ponting

Bowling coach Jon Lewis has admitted the quicks were told to bowl fuller on day one but felt there wasn't enough swing when they did, while Root also conceded after the loss his bowlers had been too short.

"I nearly fell off my seat when I heard (Root's comments about being too short)," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"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?"

Ricky Ponting was unimpressed by Joe Root's assessment of England's bowling in the second Ashes Test. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Ricky Ponting was unimpressed by Joe Root's assessment of England's bowling in the second Ashes Test. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Ponting pointed to the fact England's best hour with the ball came when Root was off injured and with Ben Stokes in charge their bowlers pitched up.

Australia's former captain also made note that while Stokes had come with a clear short-ball plan in Adelaide, both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad were also both too full.

"Regardless of whether they have taken (more than) 1150 wickets between them, too bad," Ponting said.

"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."

With AAP

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