Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed his displeasure with the way Joe Root has been batting in the first and second Test of the ongoing five-game series against India. England batters have been playing in unique ways to acquire runs while Root failed to step up in any of the games.
Root has been pushing himself to play in England’s usual ultra-aggressive style of play but failed to stay at the crease for a longer duration. Notably, his highest score in the ongoing series is 29. He was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin in England’s second innings of the Vizag Test match by an ugly push across the line and he was severely criticised by many. Vaughan, on the other hand, stated that Root should assume his natural style of play instead of the Bazball approach.
“The batsmen, meanwhile, look like they only have one way to play. They are in fifth gear from ball one. I don’t mind some of them playing like that because they are better for it. But Joe Root should forget it. He has 10,000 Test runs playing like Joe Root. He doesn’t need to be a Bazballer. It is time for someone in the management to put an arm around Joe and say ‘please just be yourself’. I think it’s as simple as the fact that he is too wrapped up in Bazball, the whole ethos of excitement and entertainment,” Vaughan wrote in a column for The Telegraph.
Vaughan further stated that Root’s performance seems like he is unable to play against spin which will allow England to give away their success in the remainder of the series. He opined that the 33-year-old should pick length and use the depths of his crease, rather than stepping out and hitting over the top.
“This is particularly important against spin. Along with Graham Gooch, Root is the best player of spin England has ever produced. To see him bat the way he did in the second innings, that’s not Root, and it’s not the way England are going to win in India, just gifting wickets away.
“What’s most frustrating is that he doesn’t dance down the pitch. It’s just not a shot he plays. The fact that at Edgbaston last summer, when he did it to Nathan Lyon, was the only time he’s been stumped in his whole Test career gives you an indication that he plays from his crease. He uses the depth of the crease. He picks up length better than anyone else, going right back onto his stumps. When it’s full, he goes right forward. The way he played on the last tour in India and Sri Lanka on spinning wickets, that’s the way he plays – really good sweep shots,” the 49-year-old added.