Skipper Joe Root has ignored suggestions that is affecting his batting before England’s bid to level the Ashes series.
Root, 28, averages 30.87 in the series prior to the fifth and final Evaluation also has yet to score a hundred, even while compared former Australia captain Steve Smith has chalked up 671 runs in 134.20.
Before he shot more than Alastair Cook in February 2017, Root uttered 52.80 with the bat, but that amount has fallen to 40.90 because – a duck in each of the previous three Ashes Tests leading to a 2-1 series deficit.
But when asked by Sky Sports when he believes that the captaincy impacts his batting, Root said:”No. It has been a challenging season for batting on both sides. Naturally, I’ve not performed as I would have liked but that’s part and parcel of Test cricket.
“You’ve got to keep looking to find ways of counter-acting difficult passages of play and good bowling. I will continue trying to work on that and attempt to improve my game.”
Out-going head coach Trevor Bayliss defended Root captaincy on Wednesday, saying:”He has not come under question from anyone making any conclusions. He is under no stress in any way.”
Root stressed that he is fully focussed on attempting to procure a win before embarking upon which he hopes will be winter excursions of New Zealand and South Africa.
He explained:”With regards to my own captaincy, I know the way I need to take this group ahead and it’s all about starting that today rather than following this string – attempting to be sure that we use this as a stepping stone; win this particular game and have a very strong winter and then move forward as a team.”
Australia ruler Tim Paine says that his side have no intention of surrendering a string win and go using retained the Ashes at Old Trafford – the tourists calling up Mitchell Marsh for Travis Head.
England have made two modifications in their own with all-rounders Sam Curran and Chris Woakes returning at the expense of opener Jason Roy and seamer Craig Overton, also Root states the hosts are determined to end the summer on a winning notice.
“We’ve not missed anything yet,” he said. “Obviously, we’re not able to win the Ashes back but we are entirely focused on making certain that we do everything we can to finish the series 2-2.
“We have got an opportunity to level this string and make it marginally better as it appears at this time. So we’ve got to be certain that we win this game, that is the attention of this group.
“And there is the Test Championship points to play as well, which the line can make a huge difference, so there’s plenty to play .”
See the fifth and final Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Thursday and follow over-by-over comment and in-play clips on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App.
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