Ashes: We've got that quality as well, says England captain Joe Root

Nov 15, 2017, 08:32 IST | PA Sport

England skipper Joe Root nullifies talk of Australia enjoying the edge for next week's Brisbane Test

England skipper Joe Root nullifies talk of Australia enjoying the edge for next week's Brisbane Test

Joe Root believes his England team is wiser than the one 'caught out' by the hype and then whitewashed 5-0 in Australia on his last Ashes visit. The England captain was still a relative novice Test batsman four years ago, and ended his maiden tour down under by losing his place for the final defeat in Sydney. This time, he is determined there will be no repeat - and has begun by setting a much different tone, insisting England will not be sucked into the heightening war of words before a ball is bowled in anger.

England captain Joe Root speaks to the media in Townsville yesterday. The first Test kicks off in Brisbane on Nov 23. Pic/AFP
England captain Joe Root speaks to the media in Townsville yesterday. The first Test kicks off in Brisbane on Nov 23. Pic/AFP

As Root prepares for a final warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville, he considered his response carefully to reports that the hosts' fast bowler Pat Cummins wants to put the 'fear' in England once the first Test gets under way in Brisbane next week.

'Don't fear Oz'
"Fear is not the right word... respect probably is," said Root. "They have a lot of quality in their attack, but we have lots of quality in our side too. "Those are the words that will be flying around our dressing room." England expect to have both James Anderson and Jake Ball for the Gabba. Their all-time leading wicket-taker was never scheduled to take on the CA XI again, so it was not yet any concern that he was 'a bit under the weather' yesterday and missed practice at the Tony Ireland Stadium. Ball, meanwhile, is set to start running again from today as he recovers from his ankle strain.

It was not fitness issues which dominated Root's press conference, but instead the hot air, which is gathering a head of steam here. Australia opener David Warner spoke several weeks ago of 'war' and 'hatred' on the pitch this winter. Root told the BBC's Test Match Special: "There's been a lot of talk, some of it exciting and some of it a load of rubbish, especially from some of the Aussie players. "I try not to do too much talking. That's more for them to worry about. The more you say the more can backfire on you. We will go about things our way. I hope that's the right way." Root admits it did not quite pan out like that on his previous foray. "Last time that caught us out, and I think we are a bit wiser this time. Mentally we've approached it slightly differently this time around, and maybe slightly better," he said.

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