England Test team's patchy performances with the bat are not for the lack of trying, according to skipper Joe Root. The home side faltered to a score of 183 in the first innings of the drawn first Test against India, while the rest of the batting unit, barring Root, struggled against Jasprit Bumrah in the second innings at Trent Bridge.
"I think running out of patience is not the right word," he said. "As a squad, we are all desperate to see each other succeed. You see the guys put the work in time and time again. One thing you can never question about anyone in this team is their work ethic. I think everyone throws everything into their practice and does everything they can to make themselves better," Root said in a virtual press conference ahead of the second Test at Lord's.
Root felt that despite the uneven performances, the team management are willing to give the players time and space to turn a corner.
"Of course you want to see that materialize into results on the field and it can be quite tough at the top end of your sport. If that doesn't happen at a certain point we might have to look at making changes. At the same time, as a team you want to give as much as you can to help guys turn a corner, whether that's spreading experience or advice, or things that have worked for you, then it's on all of us to keep helping improve each and every one of us," he added.
Root remained tightlipped over the inclusion of returning all-rounder Moeen Ali for the Lord's Test. Ali, who last played a Test against Indian in February this year, returned to the side with the likes of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes being unavailable.
"There are a lot of options we can go with currently. I think that's the nice thing about bringing Mo (Moeen) into the squad. It gives us a number of different ways we can go, and balance the team out. It will all be taken into consideration. We will try to pick the side we think is best going to win here in the conditions we get," Root said.
Root also spoke about the rotation policy of England which was pushed to its limit last month when seven COVID-19 cases emerged in the camp ahead of the limited-overs series against Pakistan.
"Every player throughout the last year and a half has found it very difficult when you're not playing and you're in and around a squad it's hard anyway. When you know there are opportunities to go and play you want to take them. It's tricky (letting players go and play domestic cricket), when you're looking at concussion replacements, covid replacements, you've got to have guys in and around the squad that you can fit like for like. It does make it quite tricky," he said.
The England skipper praised the development of opening batsman Haseeb Hameed who, after being out of the team for six years, made a successful return to the squad.
"One thing I'd say about Has is that ever since the first day I met him I've been extremely impressed with him as a person, with his maturity as a young man then," Root said of Hameed, who became the England's youngest Test opener at the age of 17. "I think that served him really well during a difficult spell in his career and now you're seeing him come into some really good form.