Joe Root taken aback at unprecedented criticism by Michael Vaughan

The 2005 Ashes-winning captain said that this group of England batsmen does not “respect” Test cricket.

Joe Root of England
Joe Root of England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

New England skipper, Joe Root received a major setback as his team suffered a humiliating defeat against South Africa in the second Test of the ongoing series between the two teams. To make matters worse, Root was subjected to minute scrutiny by former cricketing greats like Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain, who were very vocal about their disappointment. Reacting to Vaughan’s comment, the England captain has termed the criticism as “unfair”.

The second Test at Trent Bridge was only Root’s second venture as captain of the test side. England lost the game to the Proteas by a staggering margin of 340 runs, owing to a floundering display of batting in both innings. While the English were able to put up a meager 205 on the board in the first innings, they fell like nine pins on the fourth and final day of the Test for 133 inside 45 overs.

What Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain had to say about the defeat

Former English cricketer, who is famous for his batting skills back in the day lambasted the current English side, and said on the BBC’s Test Match Special, “The England batting has been appalling. Maybe it’s a lack of respect about what the game is. They look like they are playing a Twenty20 game. I look at the approach – yes, the ball has done a little bit but it’s not been drastic.”

“They have this approach of attack, attack, attack. There is no thought or feeling of seeing off a bowler or wearing a team down.” The 2005 Ashes-winning captain concluded that this group of England batsmen does not “respect” Test cricket.

Echoing similar sentiments, former England captain Nasser Hussain, commented that this current team played a “rubbish brand of cricket”. As reported by, Hussain said, “England are fragile. They have lost six of their last 8 Tests and eight of their last 13. A score of 133 all out is a rubbish brand of cricket – they are not showing a steely side, something South Africa’s No3, Hashim Amla, has in abundance.”

Joe Root unimpressed by “unfair” criticism

When asked to comment on his mentor, Vaughan’s criticism, Root was visibly taken aback and said, “I think that’s very unfair – I can’t believe he’s actually said that to be honest,” said Root. “We pride ourselves on winning series like this and unfortunately we’ve played poorly this week but the most important thing now is to respond well and make sure we put it right at The Oval.”

Root’s surprise is well-accounted for, considering Michael Vaughan has played alongside the former’s father, Matt at the Sheffield Collegiate Club and has been a close friend of the family since Root was a boy.

Here’s what Michael Vaughan tweeted as a clarification of his statement: