23/04/2024
Joe Root England Test Ashes

England men's Test captain Joe Root is preparing to lead his side in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. (Photo: Cricket on BT Sport - Twitter)

England men's Test captain Joe Root has revealed there are some considerations to be made in the side's bowling department ahead of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

England men’s Test captain Joe Root has admitted his side’s bowling performance from the first Ashes Test in Brisbane might’ve forced a strong consideration of new options that could be utilised, including the return of the nation’s best seamers.

When England was rolled for 147 runs in its first innings, after winning the toss and choosing to bat, Root’s side was immediately on the backfoot. England would continue to be trailing behind as Australia responded in its first innings to score 425 runs – and post a lead of 278 runs.

While England was able to claim the wicket of Marcus Harris cheaply in the sixth over, a 156-run partnership between David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne steadied things for Australia, and from there, England was always chasing the game.

England, better in the second innings through contributions with the bat from Dawid Malan and Root, set the hosts a target of 20 runs for victory, which was easily achieved after lunch on Day 4.

Already facing some backlash and criticism for omitting first-choice pace bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson from the 11 for the opening Test, the England captain says the two bowlers are ready to go for the second Test as the side attempts to level the series in Adelaide.

“We’ve obviously got some big decisions to make,” Root told media at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

“One of the great things is, we’re going into the Test match, both [James Anderson and Stuart Broad] should be fit and ready to go and that amount of experience, within our squad, it’s obviously exciting. [There’s] plenty of good options to choose from.”

England went into the first Test with a mixture of experience in the bowling department with Chris Woakes (40 Tests) leading the attack. He was backed up by Mark Wood (22 Tests) and Ollie Robinson (six Tests) who made up the bulk of the overs bowled.

Despite the varying degrees of experience without Anderson (166 Tests) and Broad (149 Tests), Root still believed the selected bowling unit used the wicket well and played to their strengths.

“I thought our bowlers actually created many chances and looked very threatening throughout that last Test match so [I] feel like that department, in particular, is in a good place,” Root said.

“I thought the group created plenty of chances, we beat the bat a huge amount of times. It wasn’t our bowling display [which was] why we didn’t win that game.

“Whatever 11 are lucky enough to play in this next Test match, I expect [a] similar kind of level of performance from the bowling group because they’ve set the standard for the tour now.”

James Anderson (left) and Stuart Broad (right) should return to England’s starting 11 for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. Photo: Cricket Australia)

England’s number one spin option, Jack Leach was targeted heavily by the Australian batters in the first inning, the orthodox spinner finishing the match with figures of 1/102. However, Root had high hopes of Leach turning things around as the series progresses and there are more spin-friendly wickets.

“He (Leach) bowled at probably the best time to face spin on that wicket with not a lot of runs to play with,” Root explained.

“Australia already said that they were gonna come out and attack him and I set quite an aggressive field for him to start the series off, which probably put him under a little bit of pressure himself and made it quite difficult for him to get into the Test match and into the series.

“A lot of that does come back on me, it was a bit of a risk but at the same time, could’ve created a couple of chances and really could’ve put a dint in their innings.

“I’m sure he’ll want to respond and wanna get back into the series and have an impact. Some of the grounds we’ll be going to from this point onwards should offer a lot more for him and bring him into it and bring spin into it as well.”

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‘I’m excited to head to Adelaide’: Alex Carey excited for pink-ball Ashes homecoming

Nathan Lyon on the ‘hard toil’ to claim test wickets milestone

The Top 6: Selection mysteries; caught in a spin; Ashes First Test Talking Points

With the second Ashes Test – which begins on Thursday – to be played as a day-night format, Root knows the challenges of a Test played under lights, as well as with a pink ball.

However, England’s form in a day-night Test has yielded just one win – it’s first against the West Indies in Birmingham in 2017- and three losses – all away from home which has prompted the captain to look at the upcoming contest differently.

“I think one thing from our point of view is not overthinking that part of it… understanding the different challenges… not falling into the trap of thinking [the ball’s] gonna scoot around corners for five days,” Root said.

“With the pink ball it can swing a bit more and seam a bit more which is something that we should be used to, we should know how to manage.”

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