Joe Root has hit back at Ricky Ponting after the Australia legend accused him of looking like a ‘little boy’ during England’s Ashes defeat.
Ponting, the former Australia captain, suggested Root is not respected within his own dressing room after a number of off-field incidents somewhat overshadowed England’s Ashes campaign.
Ponting also said Root, who has struggled Down Under with the bat – scoring 176 runs in six innings – needs to step up in the fourth and fifth Test matches.
But asked about Ponting’s remarks, Root said: ‘He’s entitled to his opinion, but he doesn’t spend any time in our dressing room or around the squad.
‘I’m obviously going to disagree with that – I’m sure if you asked any of the guys in the camp, the coaches or support staff or players, they would back me up on that.
‘I don’t think I go about things as a ‘little boy’, for sure. I have my own way of doing things – I think it’s important you don’t try to be something you’re not.
‘I know there are occasions where you might have to be quite strong in front of the group. I may not appear to do that out on the field but there are certainly times when I know that I can do that, and I have done that.’
Meanwhile, Australian pace bowler Josh Hazlewood piled on the pressure on England’s struggling tail-enders, saying their poor performances has been a ‘big difference’ between the sides.
‘We know if we get them four or five down then we can really go through that bottom half pretty quickly on any wicket,’ he added.
‘We don’t really need much in the wicket to take those last six wickets. It’s about grinding it out, getting those first four or five.
‘That’s been one of the big differences, our middle to lower order has wagged a fair bit this summer.’
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