Infotainment Factory: Axe call after staggering Smith Ashes blunder

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Monday, 12 August 2019

Axe call after staggering Smith Ashes blunder


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Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has offered a scathing assessment of Joe Root's leadership, suggesting that if the England captain was in charge of Australia he'd be "getting the boot".

Root came in for heavy criticism after England's first Test loss at Edgbaston, with his rotation of bowlers on the fourth morning a particular area of concern.

At a time where England had the chance to wrap up the Australian second innings and secure victory, Root bowled the struggling Moeen Ali for seven overs, despite the off-spinner posing little threat to Australian batsmen Steve Smith and Travis Head, with Moeen at one point bowling a beamer to Smith.

English media outlets have started to question whether or not Root should make way for a new captain, with suggestions his batting may improve without the responsibility of leadership.

Root has averaged 42 with the bat since taking over the captaincy in 2017, more than 10 runs per innings less than he averaged under former skipper Alastair Cook. His conversion rate of 50s into 100s, which wasn't great under Cook, has declined further since becoming captain.

Speaking exclusively to Wide World of Sports, Chappell said Root's decision to bowl Mooen on the fourth morning went against the accepted practice of starting a session with your best bowlers, or those that have a history of troubling a batsman already at the crease.

"I've seen him get it wrong a lot of times, and he got it wrong on the fourth morning at Edgbaston when he bowled Moeen with Broad," Chappell said.

"I couldn't believe he started with Moeen. He could have been thinking he'd try and build up Moeen's confidence with a wicket, but it wasn't the right time for that.

"That was the game right there. If England get Smith on the fourth morning, they probably win the Test. So you had to get everything right, so to bowl Moeen was just playing into Smith's hands."

According to the former Australia captain, Root made the problem worse by persisting with Moeen.

"Root hasn't got a great feel for the game. Everybody makes a mistake as captain, but it's how quickly you rectify that mistake that can decide whether you're a good captain or an ordinary one," Chappell said.

"After two overs you had to see that Moeen shouldn't have been bowling. He'd bowled a full toss over Steve Smith's head. That one delivery tells you a lot of things. But Moeen bowled seven overs on the trot. It was a mistake originally, and then compounded by not getting him off quickly.

"It showed no feel for the match. Get Steve Smith out and you win, if that's not enough incentive to captain well then I don't know what is."

Chappell said the non-selection of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for the opening Test shows just how ruthless Australian selectors can be. According to Chappell, it's a trait that has existed for decades, with Bill Lawry's sacking in 1971 a prime example.

"If Root was captaining Australia, and the selectors were seeing the things that I've spoken about, there's a fair chance Joe would be getting the boot if there was a decent alternative," Chappell said.

"But England would never have the guts to do that."

Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has offered a scathing assessment of Joe Root's leadership, suggesting that if the England captain was in charge of Australia he'd be "getting the boot".

Root came in for heavy criticism after England's first Test loss at Edgbaston, with his rotation of bowlers on the fourth morning a particular area of concern.

At a time where England had the chance to wrap up the Australian second innings and secure victory, Root bowled the struggling Moeen Ali for seven overs, despite the off-spinner posing little threat to Australian batsmen Steve Smith and Travis Head, with Moeen at one point bowling a beamer to Smith.

English media outlets have started to question whether or not Root should make way for a new captain, with suggestions his batting may improve without the responsibility of leadership.

Root has averaged 42 with the bat since taking over the captaincy in 2017, more than 10 runs per innings less than he averaged under former skipper Alastair Cook. His conversion rate of 50s into 100s, which wasn't great under Cook, has declined further since becoming captain.

Speaking exclusively to Wide World of Sports, Chappell said Root's decision to bowl Mooen on the fourth morning went against the accepted practice of starting a session with your best bowlers, or those that have a history of troubling a batsman already at the crease.

"I've seen him get it wrong a lot of times, and he got it wrong on the fourth morning at Edgbaston when he bowled Moeen with Broad," Chappell said.

"I couldn't believe he started with Moeen. He could have been thinking he'd try and build up Moeen's confidence with a wicket, but it wasn't the right time for that.

"That was the game right there. If England get Smith on the fourth morning, they probably win the Test. So you had to get everything right, so to bowl Moeen was just playing into Smith's hands."

According to the former Australia captain, Root made the problem worse by persisting with Moeen.

"Root hasn't got a great feel for the game. Everybody makes a mistake as captain, but it's how quickly you rectify that mistake that can decide whether you're a good captain or an ordinary one," Chappell said.

"After two overs you had to see that Moeen shouldn't have been bowling. He'd bowled a full toss over Steve Smith's head. That one delivery tells you a lot of things. But Moeen bowled seven overs on the trot. It was a mistake originally, and then compounded by not getting him off quickly.

"It showed no feel for the match. Get Steve Smith out and you win, if that's not enough incentive to captain well then I don't know what is."

Chappell said the non-selection of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for the opening Test shows just how ruthless Australian selectors can be. According to Chappell, it's a trait that has existed for decades, with Bill Lawry's sacking in 1971 a prime example.

"If Root was captaining Australia, and the selectors were seeing the things that I've spoken about, there's a fair chance Joe would be getting the boot if there was a decent alternative," Chappell said.

"But England would never have the guts to do that."

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