SportEx-Test legends unload on Root's captaincy fail

03:00  18 august  2019
03:00  18 august  2019 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Sunday, 18 August 2019 Ex - Test legends unload on Root ' s captaincy fail | Sky Australia Ex - Test greats have criticised a bizarre tactical move from England

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Ex-Test legends unload on Root's captaincy fail© AAP Joe Root consults with Broad and Archer A baffling tactical decision from English captain Joe Root may have destroyed a major chance England had to win this Test match, according to ex-Test Australian wicket-keeper Ian Healy.

Jack Leach, a left-arm orthodox bowler from Somerset, was brought in to replace the struggling Moeen Ali, who was taken to the cleaners by a dominant Steve Smith in the first Test at Edgbaston.

Statistically, Leach's inclusion made sense when you break down Smith's respective averages against different styles of bowler.

He averages in the mid-60's against both left-arm and right-arm quicks, and an astonishing 94.07 against off-spin. However, the only noticeable down-dip in that grouping is when it comes to left-arm orthodox bowlers, where his career average drops to 34.90.

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Ex-Test legends unload on Root's captaincy fail© Nine The stunning breakdown of Smith's batting averages

Which, as Healy said in an exclusive conversation with Wide World Of Sports, made the decision not to bowl the left-arm tweaker until the 56th over, when Smith had already faced 92 balls, all the stranger.

"I think (Joe) Root missed a trick not bowling him earlier in the piece," Healy said.

"You could have even opened the day with him. If it doesn't work, you get him off and bowl someone else - but get him involved, do something different."

"By getting him into the attack early, even if it's just a token message - it makes him feel valued, and a proper part of the setup," Healy continued.

Ex-English skipper Nasser Hussain was in disbelief about how little Leach was used by Root, doubling down on Healy's assertions.

"He's been brought in to bowl against Smith, who has a weakness against left-arm orthodox, and he's not bowling!"

Going further, Healy criticised Root's captaincy more generally.

"It (their tactics) seemed a bit laid-back to me," Healy continued.

"It wasn't aggressive enough, and when it was aggressive, the bowlers bowled way too high, they didn't get the fields right, and they didn't get pressure on and keep it on."

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England 67 all out in third Ashes Test.
England were dismissed for just 67 on the second day of the third Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley on Friday. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood took five wickets for 30 runs, with England's collapse leaving them 112 runs behind after Australia made 179 in their first innings. Joe Denly, with 12, was the only batsman to reach double figures in an innings that lasted a mere 27.5 overs, with England captain Joe Root out for his second successive duck.

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