Root should stand down as captain: Ponting

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  • Ricky Ponting
    Australian cricketer
  • Joe Root
    Joe Root
    English cricketer (born 1990)
  • Ben Stokes
    Ben Stokes
    Cricketer (born 1991)

Ricky Ponting claims England's horror Ashes campaign should cost Joe Root his job, calling for Ben Stokes to take over the captaincy.

The tourists had one of the most promising days of the summer on Saturday at the SCG, but still slumped closer to a 4-0 deficit after four Tests.

England will need to bat through day five on Sunday to save the match, or pull off what would be a record SCG chase of 388.

Ponting has been a vocal critic of Root's captaincy throughout the summer, particularly after the Adelaide day-night Test.

The former Australian skipper questioned Root's ability to lead or stand up to his bowlers following that 275-run loss, after the England captain admitted his team got their lengths wrong.

But Ponting, who gave up the captaincy himself after the 2010-11 home loss, went one step further on Saturday as he called for Root's head.

"I think it is time," Ponting told Seven.

"Four or five years in the job, having been there and done it myself, and with what they've done the last couple of years, I think it's time for him to move on and give with someone else.

"That has to be Ben Stokes."

Ponting also questioned if Root's batting had been worn down by the "enormity" of being captain of a struggling side.

This summer is Root's second Ashes tour in charge of England, while he also presided over their failure to regain the urn at home in 2019.

And while England were flogged 4-0 four years ago under Root, this summer is looming just as bad.

England's average of 20.27 runs per wicket with the bat is their worst in Australia since 1887, and well down on 29.15 from 2017-18.

With the ball they have improved somewhat, averaging 38.01 per wicket compared to 51.41 on their last visit.

Coach Chris Silverwood remains under the biggest spotlight, with serious questions over selections.

The SCG is the first time that Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood have played together as a pace trio this summer.

That comes despite Broad having the best record of anyone against David Warner and Steve Smith.

Wood has also now removed Marnus Labuschagne three times in 22 balls since the right-hander became the world's No.1 Test bat, after getting him caught behind on Sunday.

Meanwhile, England now have greater injury concerns, with Stokes not bowling again on day four in Sydney as he battled a side strain.

Jos Buttler (thumb) and Jonny Bairstow (finger) also didn't field, leaving Ollie Pope to take four catches as a substitute wicketkeeper.

Buttler was hurt keeping in Australia's first innings, while Bairstow was struck by Pat Cummins en route to his 113.

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