The Ashes: Joe Root defends batting first and leaving out Stuart Broad and James Anderson | Cricket News

Joe Root says beating first in Brisbane was the right decision and takes the blame for Jack Leach’s jaw-dropping figures; Root says England are “not far” from Australia despite losing nine wickets at The Gabba; according to Test in Adelaide, a day-nighter begins on December 16

Last updated: 21/11/21 06:13


Joe Root had defended his decision to beat Australia first in the opening Ashes Test

Joe Root said England cannot “be sorry for themselves” and “are not far from Australia” as he assessed their nine wicket hammering in Ashes opener and defended his decision to beat first. and leave out senior seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

England lost their last eight wickets by just 77 points on their fourth morning in Brisbane – including Root for 89 and Dawid Malan for 82 – to drop to 297 all out, before Australia knocked down their small goal of 20 in. 5.1 over.

Tourists have remained winless at The Gabba since 1986, and although they reacted on the third day through Root and Malan’s stand of the century, their hopes in this game were hugely successful on the first day when they were pulled for 147 on a surface dyed green after Root chose to beat.

Australia then amassed 425 in their first innings against a bowling bout by missing Anderson and Broad – who have a total of 1,156 test wickets – with left arm spinner Jack Leach beaten 1-102 by 13 overs.

England's Stuart Broad (L) and James Anderson (R) were left off the squad in Brisbane

England’s Stuart Broad (L) and James Anderson (R) were left off the squad in Brisbane

talking with BT Sport, Root said: “We are a team that has always responded well to situations like this in the recent past. We are not afraid of a challenge.

“We are not afraid to face a difficult result and we will just have to make sure we do it again on this occasion.

“We know where we need to improve, but I think about the way we responded in that second inning, showing the character and fight, which we will need in this series.

“With these five-match streaks, it’s really important not to feel too sorry for ourselves because of this.

Root struggles for 89 on the fourth morning at The Gabba

Root struggles for 89 on the fourth morning at The Gabba

“We have to remember that there is a huge amount of cricket to play and we should savor that challenge, savor the opportunity to go out there and get one back on the scoreboard.”

Choosing to bat, Root said: “I look back on the draw and think it was the right decision. Being 29-4 makes it seem like that isn’t the case and I credit Australia for using those conditions a bit.

“But if we get some sort of score on the scoreboard, with the way that wicket started acting on the fourth day, you’re looking at a very different competition.”

Leach captured an unwanted piece of history with the 73 balls it took Australia to beat his bowling for 100 runs, a new Ashes record, beating the 86 hundred bowling balls Brett Lee suffered against England. in Edgbaston in 2005.

However, Root still backed Leach to make a big impact on the series, with the skipper taking the blame for the pitcher’s excruciating numbers.

Root added on BT Sport: “If anything, this probably falls on me for giving him too aggressive pitches, too soon, not allowing him to settle in and giving him a little more chance at first.

Joe Root says he takes the blame for Jack Leach's difficult test

Joe Root says he takes the blame for Jack Leach’s difficult test

“Jack is a very good spinner. He has demonstrated over the course of 20 test games that he has played what instrumental role he can play within this team and I am sure he will play an important role in this series.

“It’s easy to look back in hindsight [and say Anderson and Broad should have played]. One thing I will say is that we wanted a variation in our attack.

“We wanted to be able to change the pace of the game and move through different gears during the innings.

“If you look at Jimmy’s position at the start of the game, it was a risk playing with him. Anderson’s availability for as many tests as possible is very important to us.”

Ollie Robinson's bowling was one of the bright spots for England in Brisbane

Ollie Robinson’s bowling was one of the bright spots for England in Brisbane

Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes, fellow Anderson and Broad, were three of the tourist highlights, sharing eight wickets in Australia’s first innings.

Root said: “We created so many chances with the ball – I thought we were excellent.

“Our seamers have been exceptional. Wood in particular, Robinson too and they have been supported by the other guys. They’ve beaten the bat a huge amount of times and beat the areas you want on this type of wicket.

“We have created many chances but we just have to take them. We want to be better on the pitch. If we had, the game could have been very different:

“We could have looked – even with the way we played on the fourth day – to be 150 points ahead and it’s a very different context of the game then.”

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