Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has come down hard at England skipper Joe Root after he indirectly blamed the bowlers for the loss. The visitors suffered yet another shellacking from the hosts in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. England were not up to the mark and were found out wanting against a ruthless Australian side, who have now taken a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series.
In the post-match conference, the 30-year-old said his bowlers needed to bowl a lot fuller and be a bit braver. Ponting was bemused by Root's comments and said blaming the bowlers isn't the right thing to do as it was the skipper's responsibility to tell the bowlers what lines to bowl.
"I nearly fell off my seat when I heard that," Ponting told a Cricket Australia website. "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?”
"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."
England bowlers let the Australian batters dominate in the first innings. The visitors were also sloppy on the field as they dropped Marnus Labuschagne. It proved costly for England as he scored a century in the first innings. Ponting also felt the visitors’ bowlers were best when Root left the field due to groin injury. He felt Ben Stokes led the team well for a brief while.
"The interesting thing for me is the only time they bowled full in the game was when Joe Root wasn't on the ground," Ponting said.
"The start of day four when they had a meeting on the ground before play started, Stokes took over the captaincy, and that was the only time in the game they pitched the ball up."
England need to bounce back in the Boxing Day Test in MCG in order to harbour hopes of winning the Ashes.