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The two Michaels left bewildered by Joe Root's captaincy tactics

The two Michaels left bewildered by Joe Root's captaincy tactics

The two Michaels, Michael Atherton and Michael Vaughan have not been impressed with Joe Root’s fielding placements in the Lord’s Test. 

During Pakistan’s first innings there came a point when the England Captain Joe Root in a bid to do something different, stationed himself at short-leg off the bowling of Mark Wood. Michael Atherton was on-air at that moment commentating on the match and it needed no interpreter to make out that he was not pleased with the move.


Atherton said, "I think that’s a ridiculous place to captain from. Utterly ridiculous. You captain well from first slip. You captain well from mid-off or mid-on where you’ve got a nice view of the game. Under the lid at short leg is no place for a captain to be.


"England have ahad a problem in that situation because Mark Stoneman, who did it in the winter, is not very good there.  But I don’t care if Mark Stoneman is not very good, find someone else to do it. The captain should not be at short leg. You can’t see the game. All you’ve got a view of is the batsman’s backside."



Toeing the line of Atherton, Michael Vaughan also slammed Root and coach Trevor Bayliss for their tactics. He was particularly miffed due to their fielding- fielding placements to be precise. Speaking on BBC’s Test Match Special later in the day, Vaughan said:


"They just look like a side … that need oiling. They’re not well coached. This Test match team is not well coached. The cordon changes every other over. It’s a little bit like the schoolboy teams. You get in a position on the park that you fancy and you just stay in it.


"There was a time when the second new ball was taken – Ben Stokes took it from the Pavilion End – Jimmy Anderson was at third slip. Stuart Broad partners Ben Stokes with the second new ball and they’ve got four slips. Jimmy Anderson is not one of the four slips. You’ve got Joe Root who has a go at short leg, then Alastair Cook has the helmet on.



"Mark Stoneman, whether they think he’s useless in there or he’s got some kind of injury, we’ve not heard of an injury so they must think he can’t catch. You’ve got Dominic Bess who could go under the lid. A youngster, somebody vibrant."


Trailing by a huge margin and having lost Cook and Root early, England were looking in danger of an innings defeat at one point. However, a valiant 125-run unbeaten partnership between Jos Buttler and Dominic Bess has infused some life back into the game. If England manage to get a lead of 150 or thereabouts with Babar Azam injured, anything is possible in the 4th innings.

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