He doesn't spend any time in our dressing room - Root hits back at Ponting

Joe Root has hit back at criticism from former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who claimed the England skipper looked like "a little boy" leading the tourists in their losing Ashes effort.

England have already surrendered the urn having been beaten in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with captain Root struggling to find his usually imperious form with the bat.

Root has only scored 167 runs at an average of 29.33, but it is his leadership skills that have been called into question by Ponting ahead of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Ponting said Root needs to "step up big time" but, in response, the Yorkshireman emphatically rejected that assessment of his captaincy during the tour.

"He's entitled to his opinion but he doesn't spend any time in our dressing room or around the squad," Root said. 

"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 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."

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