Ashes 2021-22: Joe Root Needs Other Batters to Support Him as Well, Feels Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton slammed the England cricket team after their dismal show against Australia in the Ashes 2021-22 opener at The Gabba, Brisbane. England batters struggled miserably in the opening Test against a quality pace attack as they were bundled out for just 147 in the first innings. The Joe Root-led side has not been at its best in the past couple of Test series as earlier they lost to New Zealand at home followed by dominating show by India on English soil.

The former England skipper slammed the batting unit and said that the visitors are heavily reliant on Root.

“If you look at England in the last dozen Tests… they’ve become so reliant on Root,” Atherton wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

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Atherton, who led England in 54 Tests, feels Root needs other batters to support him and said England were completely under-prepared for the Gabba Test.

“And if England are going to do well in Australia, you’d think he’s going to have to have a productive series, but he needs others around him to support him as well.

“Malan batted well … but England’s batting in both innings, other than that one partnership, was poor and that’s going to cost them. They were completely under-prepared, and I have a lot of sympathy for them in this regard,” he said.

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The 53-year-old further talked about how the weather affected England’s preparation in Queensland.

“There is the COVID pandemic which has necessitated the kind of schedule they had but then the torrential rains in Queensland just knocked out the minimal preparation they had been given or had given themselves,” he added.

Meanwhile, a ruthless Australia crushed England by nine wickets to win the first Ashes Test in style just after lunch on day four at the Gabba on Saturday.

Needing just 20 runs after bowling England out for 297 in their second innings — with Nathan Lyon taking his 400th Test scalp — Australia cruised to the target in 5.1 overs when Marcus Harris square-drove Mark Wood for a boundary.

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