Sport Root out to conquer unhappy hunting ground

03:10  08 december  2017
03:10  08 december  2017 Source:   MSN

Moeen a doubt for second Ashes test, says Root

  Moeen a doubt for second Ashes test, says Root England all-rounder Moeen Ali is a doubt for the second Ashes test against Australia as he struggles to recover from a cut on his index finger, captain Joe Root said on Friday. Moeen, whose bowling was affected by the cut during England's 10-wicket defeat at the Gabba, would probably be retained as a batsman at Adelaide Oval in the match starting Saturday even if were unable to bowl, said Root.The skipper, however, would not rule out a potential test debut for legspinner Mason Crane, depending on the conditions and if Moeen was deemed unfit to play.

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England captain Joe Root.© AAP Image/Dave Hunt England captain Joe Root. ketBilled as one of the world's best batsmen, Joe Root is still searching for a breakthrough knock in Australia as he attempts to lead England out of trouble this Ashes.

Root, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson have been widely viewed as a class above their peers in recent years.

All four of the prodigies have become captains after turning heads with the quality and quantity of their Test runs.

All four have experienced highs and lows - it was only a year ago when Smith struggled to hide his frustration after a horrible loss in Hobart led to something of an overhaul of Australian cricket.

Legspinner Crane could debut for England

  Legspinner Crane could debut for England England could turn to uncapped legspinner Mason Crane in their search to level the Ashes series, with Moeen Ali's cut spinning finger complicating the equation.Crane, who impressed so much in Sydney grade cricket last summer that he played for NSW, is being mentored by Stuart MacGill and is highly rated by coach Trevor Bayliss.

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But while Kohli and Williamson went blow for blow with Smith during century-laden tours of Australia in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively, Root is yet to fire a shot in Australia.

Root, in the midst of his first Test tour since Alastair Cook handed over the captaincy, is facing the greatest test of his leadership to date.

The intensity of an Ashes tour is all-consuming. Andrew Flintoff, who led England to a 5-0 loss in 2006-07, referenced it this year while describing captaincy as "the worst job" he has ever had.

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Root has posted two half-centuries in the current series to be England's leading run-scorer. The right-hander knows he must deliver far more imposing innings if his team are to become the second side in Ashes history to fight back from a 2-0 deficit and win a series.

Much has been made of Root's troubles kicking on after starts; just two of his past 13 Test scores of 50-plus have been converted into tons.

But the 26-year-old's record in Australia, where he was axed from the tourists' XI during Mitchell Johnson's rampage four years ago, also paints a frank picture.

Root's average from six Tests in Australia is a tick over 30. Shrink the sample size to first innings in Australia and his average is 11.5.

"I know I'm a good player, I know I'm going to score some runs out here," Root said after scoring nine and 67 in England's 120-run loss at Adelaide Oval.

Former England offspinner Graeme Swann feels captaincy is the cause of Root's recent issues.

"I wish he didn't have the burden and could just be our best-ever batsman," Swann told ESPNcricinfo

"This tour will be tough on him because that pressure will build and build."

Mitchell Starc, who once shared a dressing room at Yorkshire with Root during a county stint, suggested England's captain could "come out in the next couple of games and score some big scores".

"We know how good a player he is ... he's not someone you can take lightly," Starc said.

Smith is always keen to downplay talk of the rivalry between himself, Kohli, Root and Williamson but admitted in his recently-released biography that he always keeps an eye on their scores.

England win toss, choose to bat in third Ashes test .
England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in the third Ashes test against Australia in Perth on Thursday. A victory for Australia at the WACA would give them an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.Australia have made one change to the side that won the second test, with seam bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh replacing out-of-form number five batsman Peter Handscomb. England have stuck with the same team that lost by 120 runs in Adelaide but tweaked the batting order with Jonny Bairstow promoted to six and all-rounder Moeen Ali going down to seven.

Source: http://au.pressfrom.com/news/sport/-48846-root-out-to-conquer-unhappy-hunting-ground/

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