Joe Root had been hesitant to bat at number three spot following his appointent as England Test skipper but made up his mind to move up from four on the eve of the Ashes.
Root went on to score 51 in England’s first innings of the series but has suffered three collapse since and was out for a second ball duck in Leeds this morning, after being dismissed for a golden duck at Lord’s last week. Openers Jason Roy and Rory Burns also failed as England tumbled to 20 for 3.
Talking to BBC Test Match Special, former captain Michael Vaughan stated: ‘Joe Root is England’s best player. Put him at four.
‘Virat Kohli – where does he bat? Steve Smith – where does he bat?
‘Joe is not finding batting as easy as he was a year ago, all players go through periods like that. He’s not seeing the ball as well as he was, that happens in a Test career.
‘It’s only one position but it is a huge difference. The Australians have bowled nicely – a jaffa to get rid of Joe Root and Jason Roy, well…
‘I don’t like Joe Root at three, he’s a number four. You know he’s going to be in so early in this team, he’s basically an opener.’
Alastair Cook, who Root replaced as England Test captain, added: ‘Two balls ago I said how comfortable it seemed for Jason Roy.
‘You take the rough with the smooth with Roy, he’s gone for a drive and there are so many dismissals at Headingley to that ball. A real frustration again.
‘Does that sort of drive translate to red ball cricket?’
On Joe Root’s dismissal, Cook stated: ‘A good ball! That was the in-nipper, the seam was angled in. You get your reward here as a bowler for aiming at the stumps.
‘I still think Joe Root at three is the right decision. He is England’s best player and he can effect the game from there.
‘The momentum swing of Test cricket…it’s an amazing game.’
Asked if Joe Root should be drop down to four, Cook said: ‘I still think Joe Root at three is the right decision. ‘He is England’s best player and he can effect the game from there. The momentum swing of Test cricket…it’s an amazing game.’
Australia were bundled out for 179 on day one, all thanks to Jofra Archer, who claimed his first five wickets haul in red ball cricket.