Ashes 2021-22 | ‘All of a sudden there’s a batsmen v bowlers divide’ – Steve Harmison reacts to Joe Root criticizing bowlers
Joe Root stated that his bowlers needed to bowl full and be brave after defeat in Adelaide|
Steve Harmison feels that there arises a situation of a ‘batsmen vs bowlers’ divide, when the captain criticizes his bowlers, after Joe Root stated that his bowlers needed to bowl full and be brave following England’s defeat in Adelaide. The third Test begins on December 26 in Melbourne.
England have been thoroughly outplayed in each of the first two Ashes 2021-22 Tests, losing the first Test in Brisbane by nine wickets before going down by 275 runs in the second in Adelaide. While skipper Joe Root and Dawid Malan have been the lone contributors with the bat, the bowling has failed to challenge the Australian line-up.
Root admitted after the defeat in Adelaide that his bowlers needed to bowl full and be brave, and the statement prompted Ricky Ponting to question the England skipper’s role within the group.
Former England speedster Steve Harmison, too, was critical of Root’s comments, stating that such remarks can result in ‘batsmen vs bowlers’ divide.
"The criticism of the bowlers from Joe’s point of view… I’d have been waiting for him at the top of the stairs if Vaughany (Michael Vaughan) had said that,” Harmison told TalkSport. “If Vaughany had said that after what we had just done, I think me, Hoggard, Flintoff, Jones would have been standing at the top of the stairs.
"When comments are made like that, all of a sudden there’s a 'batsmen v bowlers' divide."
Harmison further highlighted England’s poor catching, stating that when the bowlers did create chances, they were not taken.
"You’ve got size 12s, get something behind them,” said the 2005 and 2009 Ashes winner. “But to say that they bowled too short? They created 10 chances in eight and a half days of Ashes cricket that haven’t been taken. The bowlers go, 'Well, the batsmen aren’t catching it, first and foremost, so we’re having to bring our lengths back because every time we pitch it up, we either get driven for four or we potentially create a chance that isn’t getting taken."
The third Test will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, beginning December 26.