Ashes: Ex-Australia wicketkeeper on England’s ‘tactically best’ captain
England captain Joe Root has come under fire for his team’s performance in the ongoing Ashes series
England have lost both Tests so far
The third Ashes Test will be played in Melbourne from December 26-30
England captain Joe Root has come under fire for his team’s performance in the ongoing Ashes series. With the visitors battered by the Australians in both Tests so far, experts and fans are fearing another whitewash for the Three Lions.
While Root has been performing consistently with the bat, he has been criticised for his decisions during the losses in Brisbane and Adelaide. And former Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin thinks England have a better candidate to lead the side in Ben Stokes, saying he “tactically is the best captain”.
Haddin said England’s best phase of the second Test came on Day 4, when Root went off the field and Stokes took over as captain.
“What they did really well tactically was the fourth morning. Who was off [the field]? Joe Root. Ben Stokes took over and it just looked a lot more calm. He had a plan, the bowlers bowled fuller, he had catching midwickets and short covers,” Haddin said on Triple M Cricket.
“They bowled at the stumps and they challenged Australia. They took four wickets for, I think, under 20 runs and they put Australia under pressure. Root came back on and it all went downhill again. So, to me something’s not quite right. I think Ben Stokes tactically is the best captain. If you look at the first two Test matches, they haven’t got it right,” he added.
Earlier, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting criticised Root for his leadership, saying he should know when and how to use his bowlers. Ponting’s comments came after Root said they did not bowl the right lengths to Australia, making it easier for the home side to score freely.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith – who led Australia in the second Test in the absence of regular skipper Pat Cummins – defended Root, saying, “sometimes as a captain you get out-played by the opposition and there's not a great deal you can do”.
The third Ashes Test will be played in Melbourne from December 26 to 30.