Cricket

Root wants England to make start 'count'

2017-07-13 22:32
Joe Root (AP)

Nottingham - England captain Joe Root is determined his side don't let up when the second Test against South Africa starts at Nottingham's Trent Bridge on Friday.

Root's first match since succeeding Alastair Cook as England skipper was a personal triumph, with the 26-year-old Yorkshireman scoring a first-innings 190 in a 211-run win in the series opener at Lord's last week as the hosts went 1-0 up with more than a day to spare.

England, however, lost eight Tests last year and Root is wary of letting complacency creep in.

"We definitely want to make sure we make this start count," Root told reporters at Trent Bridge on Thursday, with England looking to go an unassailable 2-0 up in this four-match series.

"It's important we set the tone with whatever we do tomorrow morning and drive that forward throughout the rest of the game."

Root confirmed England would field an unchanged team after off-spinner Moeen Ali, who took 10 wickets on a turning pitch at Lord's, and slow left-armer Liam Dawson helped ease the workload on his seamers.

"We're going to go in with the same team," Root said. "It gives us great balance if spin does come into it later in the game, we've got plenty of options.

"Our seamers, it might be that they play a bigger part this week, but that quite excites me. They only bowled a handful of overs in the second innings last week.

"It means they're nice and fresh, and when they get their opportunity they'll still be pretty fresh coming into the second innings later in this game."

One of those pacemen, James Anderson, did not bowl much during Thursday's nets session, but Root insisted England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker was fully fit after struggling with groin and shoulder problems recently.

"He had a little bowl today," Root added. "Jimmy knows his body, he's obviously had a couple of injury issues over the course of this year and I think he's just been smart with the way that he practises.

"He's a senior player, he knows what he's doing. He's done it for such a long time now.

"It's really important that he's smart in how he looks after his body and I think how he's gone about it this week is when he has bowled he's made sure that he's been right on it and he's got something out of it, but at the same time he's got plenty in the tank for when we start on Friday."

This match will be England's first Test at Trent Bridge since their stunning Ashes-clinching success two years ago, when Stuart Broad took a remarkable eight for 15 on his Nottinghamshire home ground as Australia were bowled out for just 60 on the first morning.

"I think Stuart's excited to get another opportunity to bowl here on his home ground," said Root. "We've played some good cricket here over the last four or five years and we want to make sure that continues this week."

This week also saw England's women qualify for the semi-finals of their World Cup.

"It's brilliant for the game," said Root.

"To get to the semi-finals is a great achievement and to do it under the pressure of hosting the tournament is great. I wish them all the luck."

The England women went into the last four on the back of a 75-run win over New Zealand at Derby on Wednesday that saw Natalie Sciver twice deliberately hit the ball between her legs during the course of a brilliant 129.

Asked about the 'Natmeg', as the shot has become known, Root -- one of the leading batsmen in the men's game -- said: "I'm not sure I've quite got that in my locker.

"It's a great bit of skill to be able to play that and I think Jonny Bairstow has played it a few times but not quite as good as that."

Read more on:    england  |  joe root  |  cricket
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