SYDNEY: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has suggested England skipper Joe Root to bat at number three during the upcoming Ashes considering his good run of form in Test cricket this year.
Root has been the top run-scorer in Test cricket in 2021, amassing 1455 runs from 23 innings at an average of 66.13 while coming at number four. Overall, Root averages 53.37 at number four, as compared to 38.66 at number three. Root averages 38 in Australia with six half-centuries, compared to 50.12 with 23 centuries and 50 half-centuries in his overall Test career. "The question I would ask Joe is 'why don't you bat at three?'. I've always believed that you are better off coming in at one for not very many, than two for not very many. No one has really proved that they can really bat at three (for England)," said Chappell on an Ashes preview program for Wide World of Sports (WWOS).
"Joe has got all the credentials to bat at three, there's never going to be a better time for him to bat at No.3 because he's in terrific form, but he just won't seem to bat at No.3. He might get lucky in Australia, and No.3 it could be (Dawid) Malan, and Malan I think's a reasonably decent player. If Malan has a good series at three and keeps Joe away from the bowling for a while then it's got a chance at working. But, I wouldn't be trusting to luck, I'd be saying if I was Joe, 'I'm batting at three'," added Chappell, who represented Australia in 75 Tests.
The 78-year-old further took a swipe at Root's captaincy, saying that he would be heavily dependent on inputs from all-rounder Ben Stokes. "I wouldn't worry too much about his captaincy, I don't think that's very good. He's got an imagination problem that is important in Australia. His best chance with captaincy is if he takes quite a bit of advice from (Ben) Stokes, and Stokes establishes himself as a very aggressive player." IANS