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Root hints at a more attacking England for second Test

Last updated on 22 Jun 2023 | 08:07 PM
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Root hints at a more attacking England for second Test

The former captain also admitted that he wished he used Ben Stokes' game-plan at the start of his own reign

Joe Root backed England's aggressive approach despite a defeat in the Edgbaston Test against Australia that has seen them 0-1 down in the 2023 Ashes series. Root went to the extent of admitting that he wished he used Ben Stokes' game-plan at the start of his own reign.

Root was part of the England side beaten by two wickets in a thrilling conclusion to the opening Test of the Ashes series in Birmingham. He took Alex Carey’s wicket which was the last to fall in Australia’s innings before Pat Cummins struck the winning runs in a 2-wicket win. 

The outcome has led to question marks on England's ‘Bazball’ theory of playing Test cricket. It included various moments in the game with their declaration for a total of 393 with two wickets in hand. However, England's players remain completely supportive of Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. 

Ollie Robinson resonated those thoughts in his column for “You're going to see us come harder and harder,” the all-rounder said. 

Now Root has joined the chorus. Asked if England would like to reverse their decision to make the fastest declaration in Ashes history, Root said: "That's not what we're about as a team. If I could go back in time, I'd go back and start my captaincy tenure the way Ben has and try to play in a similar manner to how he does it.

"It's far more exciting, far more interesting and I think we are getting more out of our team and our individuals. We're playing better cricket to watch and producing better results overall."

England's all-guns-blazing style has revitalized their form after a dismal run prior to McCullum's arrival.

Far from shying away from those principles, Root believes England will be even more committed to putting pressure on Australia when the two teams meet in the second Test at Lord's next week.

"A lot of times that would peter out to a draw. The wicket we had was very slow. It could have made for a long, mundane game, but the way we went about it we gave ourselves a great opportunity to win the Test match," Root said.

"If we are going to grow as a team, we can't just look at a couple of moments going against us and say 'we need to do things differently’. If anything we need to double down on how we do it, completely back ourselves and make sure we get those one percents right at Lord's,” he explained further. 

"Everyone should strap in and expect the same from us. That's what we're about as a team." 

It is turning out to be a battle of narratives. After the win at Edgbaston, Cummins, the Australian skipper, mentioned: “We'll both play to our strengths. Don't know which is better but makes for good entertainment.” Now, Root’s comments fuel up a series that has already kicked off on an entertaining note. 

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