Australia legendary batter Ian Chappell has come down hard on England captain Joe Root, saying that he was never a leader of substance after the visitors’ poor run in the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 series, where they trail by 0-3 and have lost the Ashes series.
Chappell further said that Root only got the captaincy because he was the only candidate available at the time after Alastair Cook stepped down from the leadership role. Root has invited a divulge of criticism as his team stares down the prospect of a 5-0 whitewash, as they have been decimated in all three losses.
England lost the first Test in Brisbane by 9 wickets, the second Test, a pink ball affair by 275 runs, and the third Test in Melbourne by an innings and 14 runs, though Australia scored just 276 in their only innings. England was bowled out for 68 runs in the second innings with debutant Scott Boland taking 6/7.
Chappell, writing in his column for ESPNCricinfo, said Root’s “lack of inspiration” has started to show in England’s performances home and away.
Chappell said: “Even in England, Root’s lack of inspiration as a leader is starting to show. Albeit in some trying times, because of the pandemic, England are starting to lose their reputation as a team that is difficult to beat at home.
It’s incorrect to make Root culpable, as he is easily England’s best batter, but he has to accept some of the blame. He has never been a leader of substance and virtually gained the job because there was no other candidate and it was hoped he would grow into the job. It has become patently clear Root is not the man for the task if England want to be recognized as a tough team to beat in all circumstances.”
Joe Root has been the best batter for England in 2021, scoring 1708 runs with the best score of 228 and two double-tons in the year that went by.
Ian Chappell Names Ben Stokes As The Only Viable Replacement For Joe Root As England Captain
There have been questions raised about whether Joe Root will continue as England Test captain post the Ashes 2021-22, which has two more Tests to go in Sydney and Hobart. However, Chappell feels there is a more charismatic cricketer in the England setup to take up the captaincy.
He feels that premier all-rounder Ben Stokes, who holds “the ability to lift the team”, is the only captaincy material available to England. However, he also felt that Stokes, who returned after a six-month-long break for mental health, might break down if pressured with captaincy burden.
Chappell concluded by saying: “That is the easy part, bringing a tenure to an end; the tough job is finding a better incumbent. In the current side only Ben Stokes could be considered captaincy material. He has the qualities of a good captain; he’s aggressive, inspirational, and has the ability to lift the team.
It would be an extremely tough task, given his already demanding role as an allrounder. He has the ability to do the job but it could also break his spirit. The other major point to consider is, the ECB doesn’t have a reputation for taking tough decisions.”
England and Australia to play the fourth Test match in MCG from January 5th onwards.