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Ian Chappell labels Joe Root ‘a failure’ as Test captain and Stuart Broad ‘a negative influence’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In his column for ESPNcricinfo, former Australian captain Ian Chappell has labelled Joe Root a “poor captain” and that to suggest Stuart Broad should be his replacement “lacks an understanding of cricket captaincy”.

Despite a record-breaking 2021 with the bat, Root’s position as England Test captain has come under scrutiny after his side succumbed to a second consecutive 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia and Chappell, who captained his country in 30 Tests from 1971 to 1975, has argued that “if England want to improve, they first have to find a new and capable captain”.

“The captaincy failure, despite having led his country more times than any other captain, is Joe Root. It doesn’t matter what Root or any other English devotee tells you, Root is a fine batter but a poor captain.” wrote Chappell, who attacked the Yorkshireman’s lack of imagination as skipper.

“He was never going to be a successful leader,” Chappell added. “Though England under him have a reasonably presentable record at home, Root has lacked imagination as a captain, quickly run out of ideas, and showed little ‘gut feel’ for the game. Too often his choice of bowlers to begin a session caused head-scratching, but the real killer were his tactics: they often made no sense.”

One name that has been mentioned by pundits as a potential successor to Root is Broad, who has previously captained England in T20Is and was briefly Root’s vice-captain during the two-Test series against New Zealand last year. But Chappell was also quick to play down such an idea.

“To suggest that the answer to the leadership void is Stuart Broad lacks understanding of cricket captaincy,” Chappell added. “Apart from Broad’s advanced (cricket) age and articulate off-field responses, he’s a negative influence – particularly with field placings – and would be a poor choice as captain.”

England’s next Test assignment is against the West Indies in March, with a squad for the series yet to be announced.

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