Root's been phenomenal but other batsmen need to step up: Silverwood

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10 Aug 2021 | 04:17 AM
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Root's been phenomenal but other batsmen need to step up: Silverwood

The England head coach said Pope, Hameed and Moeen are all in contention for the second Test

Head coach Chris Silverwood said England can't always rely on their skipper Joe Root and wants other batsmen to step up and score some runs. Root got scores of 64 and 109 in the first Test but nobody else could score more than 32. The fifth day was washed out and England somehow managed to escape from Trent Bridge with a draw. Root averages close to 60 this year but the other batters have been very mediocre.

"Yes, I think we do need to step up. Joe's been phenomenal for the last six months, really. But what we need to do is make sure that the guys that are batting with him are coming to the party as well. We need the guys around Joe scoring some more runs to take the pressure off him. It's one thing which we're talking about in the dressing room constantly. I'm encouraging conversations between the players and the coaches to try and find a solution for this to try and help them get better.

"We have to address and accept we are not getting those runs so we have to look at why. It's not through lack of effort. It's not a lack of hard work. It's just a case that we have to try and find a formula that works. That's a work in progress at the moment. We need to do something. Ideally, we get the guys scoring runs again and get the confidence back in them. But if that doesn't happen obviously I have to have a look.

"Does that mean there will be changes? It's something we've got to consider constantly. We have to make sure we've got the right people on the park. Ultimately, if it isn't working I have to take a view on why and how do I change that. I have invested in these guys. I would rather be accused of giving somebody one too many chances than not enough. But at some point I will have to make a decision."

Silverwood said Ollie Pope, Haseeb Hameed and Moeen Ali are all in contention for the second Test against India, which will be played at Lord's from Thursday (August 12). England's top-order hasn't scored enough runs of late and one of Pope or Hameed could replace Zak Crawley who is averaging just 11.14 in his last seven Tests. Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow didn't a big score but looked solid in both innings. 

"Jonny lined up very well. It's the happiest I've seen Jonny in a while. He was very content going about his business in training. He's in a really good place at the moment and I was pleased with how he performed. Behind Joe, he looked (the most) reassured at the crease.

"Ollie is making all the right noises with his fitness. He wasn't quite ready for the first Test which is why I made that decision not to push him too hard. The next couple of days we'll find out more. I want him to be 100 percent right when we chuck him into the arena again.

"I think it's clear we have got a real talent in Zak. You don't do what he did without having the talent. I think it's a case of finding a way for him to get going. How does get himself in; how does he manage the ball around off stump? I think it's an ongoing process but there's no doubt in my mind there's a heap of talent there capable of performing at this level.

"I'm confident Haseeb is as ready as he could be. He's doing everything he possibly can to make sure he's ready. He did put his best foot forward in Durham when he scored that hundred. What he did early season in the championship shows there's a lot of class there as well, so I think he's done everything he possibly can to be ready."

Meanwhile, Moeen is not part of the current squad but could be brought in if England want to add a spinner in their playing XI without compromising on their batting. The hosts are without Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes and went with Sam Curran in the first Test. The young all-rounder batted at No. 8 after England went with four seamers and left out spinner Jack Leach.

"Moeen is certainly under consideration. He's always been part of our consideration. So that's something that Joe and I are going to chat about at Lord's. We know he is a fine cricketer and we know he is showing fine form in the Hundred at the moment, though I appreciate it's a different format.

"All-rounders such Ben Stokes or Chris Woakes usually give you options all-round. Unfortunately, we've found ourselves squeezed through circumstance recently and we haven't been able to do that. Could Mo play at Lord's? All I'll say is my mind's not closed to anything. If it fits and works for the team then it's something we have to consider."

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England vs IndiaIndia tour of England, 2021EnglandChris SilverwoodMoeen AliHaseeb HameedOllie Pope

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