Root aiming for positive England response after social media scrutiny

By Sports Desk June 09, 2021

Joe Root is hoping England's Test team respond positively amid scrutiny of their behaviour, with the ECB currently investigating several players for historic social media posts.

Ollie Robinson's Test debut at Lord's last week was marred when offensive Twitter posts by the paceman – posted in 2012 and 2013 – were highlighted.

The 27-year-old had an impressive debut on the field in the series-opening draw with New Zealand, but is now suspended while the ECB conduct an investigation.

It has subsequently been reported that posts from several England players across the Test and one-day set-ups are also being looked into.

However, Root is now hoping for a full switch of focus back to the matter at hand, which is England attempting to clinch a series win over the Black Caps at Edgbaston.

"We want to move forward in a really positive way," Root told BBC Sport.

"We've had to face up to some ugly truths this past week or so and there will be challenges moving forward.

"But the group of players we have now is very much committed to moving the game forward, to making it a better place, making it more inclusive and educating ourselves further.

"We're going to have to front up to what has happened, but ultimately we want to move forward in a really positive way, to keep going on this journey we've started of trying to better our sport.

"We will continue to do that because that's how we all feel."

A near-capacity crowd of 17,000 will be allowed at Edgbaston as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, and Root is aiming to put on a show for the spectators, after his team received some criticism for holding out for a draw on the final day at Lord's, rather than attempt to mount a 273-run chase.

"We're all very aware we're in the entertainment business," Root, who wants to dispel any notion of his team being negative, told reporters.

"We all want to be part of those games, those special games that provide that entertainment. They're the ones that you remember.

"The ones that stick in my mind are the World Cup final, Headingley, Cape Town – the ones that go to the wire, they're the ones you remember as a player, and want to have big contributions in.

"I look at the situation we found ourselves in and I still feel we made the right decision [at Lord's]. We've turned up here with an opportunity to win the series, albeit it is not part of the Test championship, but it is a Test match and that means a hell of a lot to the players and the group.

"We're very keen to put in five days of strong cricket this week and win the series. If the opportunities arise, we'll definitely look to be aggressive.

"I don't want us to be considered a negative team who play a boring brand of cricket.

"We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful passages of cricket and hopefully that will come to light this week."

Related items

  • Russell's 32-ball 90 powers Deccan Gladiators to Abu Dhabi T10 title Russell's 32-ball 90 powers Deccan Gladiators to Abu Dhabi T10 title

    Andre Russell crowned himself 2021 Abu Dhabi T10 champion after he produced an electrifying Man-of-the-Match performance to lead the Deccan Gladiators to a 56-run win over the Delhi Bulls on Saturday.

  • Ashwin stars as dominant India close in on series win over Black Caps Ashwin stars as dominant India close in on series win over Black Caps

    Ravichandran Ashwin struck three times as India closed in on a series victory after Ajaz Patel claimed New Zealand's second-best Test match figures on day three at the Wankhede Stadium.

    India declared on 276-7 in Mumbai on Sunday to set the Black Caps a highly improbable 540 to win, and the tourists are facing a crushing defeat in the second and final Test of the series after closing on 140-5.

    Patel became only the third bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings on day two and the New Zealand spinner finished with incredible match figures of 14-225, surpassing Ian Botham's 13-106 in Mumbai in 1989 as the best taken against India.

    It was very much India's day once again, though, after Mayank Agarwal top scored with 62, having made a magnificent century in the first innings.

    Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill made 47 apiece, while captain Virat Kohli chipped in with 36 before Axar Patel smashed an unbeaten 41 off 26 deliveries.

    Ashwin (3-27) came to the fore yet again on a challenging surface after Kohli declared late in the afternoon session, removing openers Tom Latham and Will Young before sending Ross Taylor on his way.

    Daryl Mitchell (60) played with great assurance as New Zealand moved beyond their embarrassing first-innings total off 62 all out until he holed out off the bowling of Axar and Tom Blundell was run out for a duck.

    Henry Nicholls batted with admirable patience and was still there on 36 at stumps, but India are on the brink of gaining a measure of revenge for their defeat in the inaugural World Test Championship final.

     

    Patel only second to Hadlee

    Spinner Patel shot to prominence with his astonishing display with the ball in his city of birth on Saturday.

    The 33-year-old tweaker's one-man show continued when he dismissed Agarwal and Pujara before Rachin Ravindra (3-56) became the first Black Caps bowler other than Patel to take a wicket in the match, Gill the man to become his first Test victim.

    Only Richard Hadlee has claimed better match figures for New Zealand than Patel, when the legendary all-rounder took 15-123 against Australia in November 1985.


    Ashwin ending memorable year on a high note

    It has been an outstanding year for Ashwin, who followed up his devastating first-innings exploits by reaching the 50-wicket landmark for 2021.

    The wily Ashwin took 4-8 on day two and the New Zealand batsmen struggled to read him once again, Latham pinned lbw before Young was caught at short leg and Taylor's positive approach did not pay off when he was taken by Pujara.

    Mitchell and Nicholls made a fight out it in a stand of 73, but Ashwin looks poised to take yet another five-wicket haul with two days remaining.

  • Head gets nod over Khawaja and Starc avoids Australia axe for Ashes opener Head gets nod over Khawaja and Starc avoids Australia axe for Ashes opener

    Australia have opted for Travis Head over Usman Khawaja as captain Pat Cummins confirmed the starting XI to face England in the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba.

    It was between Head and Khawaja in the race to bat at number five in Wednesday's opener in Brisbane and Australia stuck with the former.

    Head, who played in four of the 2019 Ashes Tests and top-scored with 51 at an average of 27.28 before sitting out the final match, has made 394 runs – including two centuries – at 49.25 this Sheffield Shield season.

    His overall Test record also stands at an average of 39.75 from 19 matches, including two tons.

    Khawaja – without an international appearance in the longest format of cricket since the third Ashes Test in 2019 – also had a pair of hundreds as part of a 460-run haul at 65.71 in the Sheffield Shield.

    But new Australia skipper Cummins and selectors preferred Head as they bid to retain the urn, though England are yet to confirm their XI.

    "It was a tight one. Both really good options, really strong form," said Cummins on Sunday.

    "Experience is great from Uzzie and we feel really lucky to have that in the squad, but Trav's been playing a lot for us the last couple of years.

    "He's gone away and he's churned out runs in England, here in Australia, and we feel like he's really ready to go."

    Australia quick Mitchell Starc avoided the axe, selectors keeping faith with the paceman alongside fellow pace bowlers Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

    Starc's position was under threat due to his form and the rise of Jhye Richardson, who had taken 15 wickets in his past two Sheffield Shield matches.

    England captain Joe Root declined to announce his team during Sunday's series launch, telling reporters: "We've got all the options on the table [but] we're not going to name a team just yet.

    "We'll have to see the closer forecase and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days.

    "But it's a great place to play spin. It's something we'll weigh up and consider, but we're not in a position to make that call right now."

     

    Australian XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc.

    England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.