Ian Chappell has criticised England captain Joe Root for not being able to inspire his team as Australia retained Ashes following their thrilling win in the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Sunday. Chasing 382, England were bowled out for 197 as Australia took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series.


Root’s own performance with the bat and the way he has captained during the series have been criticised.

READ: Losing captain Joe Root determined to stay in charge

“Joe Root is what I would class as a reactionary captain,” Chappell, a former Australia captain, told Macquarie Sports Radio. “I think that’s one of his problems, he doesn’t seem to have a great feel for the way the game is going. As important as anything, he doesn’t seem able to inspire his team.”

Australia recovered after losing their openers cheaply on the opening day of the Test. Stuart Broad removed David Warner (0) in the first over before accounting for Marcus Harris (13) as well with the tourists 28/2 in 7 overs. A superb double-hundred from Steve Smith and fifties from captain Tim Paine and Mitchell Starc pushed Australia to 497/8 declared.

Root scored 71 in the first innings as England were bowled out for 301 and was out for a first-ball duck in the second dig.

Citing an example of Root’s failure, Chappell said, “When Broad got those first two wickets on the first morning of the game. It was a horrible day, it was cold, but you’ve got to be able to put that out of your mind. Apart from Broad, England bowled terribly on that occasion. That was a moment in the game when England could have really captured the Old Trafford Test, if they’d got rid of Smith and charged through a few more batsmen in that period. But he (Root) just doesn’t seem to have that inspirational spark as a captain.”

He added, “He’s (Smith) totally got Joe Root flummoxed … I’m surprised Joe’s not grey or bald!”