Ashes 2019: Joe Root expects ‘big response’ from England at Lord’s

Despite a strong start from the hosts in Birmingham, Australia won handsomely in the end thanks to twin hundreds from Steve Smith and can go a long way to retaining the urn with victory at the home of cricket.

However, Root is confident England can level the series with an improved showing despite going seven Tests without a win against the old enemy, a run that includes six defeats.

“I think that is the wrong way to look at it,” he told reporters. “That Ashes series in Australia is a long time ago now, it’s a very different squad of players.

“We’re in English conditions, we really back ourselves to perform and to come back strong after last week. We’ve proven that we do that time and time again after we’ve been defeated, especially at home, and I’m expecting a big response from the boys.

“Last week will have hurt everyone and everyone will be absolutely desperate to win this one and I expect nothing less.”

Finding a way to dismiss Smith will be key to England’s chances and Root thinks it is important his bowlers persevere with their plans to the former Australia skipper after admitting they were guilty of changing approach too quickly in the first Test.

“Steve has got to start again this week, as does everyone else,” he added. “He obviously played very well at Edgbaston but I feel like we created a lot of close chances last time around, especially in the first innings when the ball was moving around.

“We’ve got to make sure that, if anything, we stick to our plans a little bit longer, trust that they’re going to work and be nice and patient.

“I think later on in the game, in the second innings, maybe we were slightly too aggressive early on to him, let him get in, which is the natural thing to do when you’re a bowler down and you’ve taken two early wickets and you’re trying to make the most of a lead.

“Then we never really managed to build any pressure throughout the rest of that innings. We’ll go about things slightly differently.

“I think we had some really good plans and we put him under pressure, especially in the first innings, his first 25 runs took him a long time to get and he really made a big impact when he tried to farm the strike and (Peter) Siddle came out there.

“That’s more when he started to really hurt us but it showed that we’re doing the right things, we just need to do them for longer.”

Root will hope a rejigged bowling attack will help to unsettle Smith with Jofra Archer expected to come in for his Test debut. Jack Leach is also set to play having replaced Moeen Ali in the 12-man squad while Sam Curran is also in contention for a recall.

The prospect of getting a first glimpse of Archer at Test level has excited England fans and Root feels much the same about seeing the World Cup star in action.

Root said: “Yeah, I am [excited] especially after seeing his press conference yesterday! He’s certainly very confident and that’s great to see in a young guy – as he should be off the back of a brilliant World Cup.

“As he’s made it very clear, red-ball cricket is his preferred format, so again it’s very exciting to see him at the start of a journey.

“He’s a very confident young guy and things like [only having played one red-ball match in 11 months] don’t seem to faze him.

“I think he’s proven that throughout the World Cup, coming in and dealing with being a part of that squad right at the last minute and all the pressures that that held.

“He doesn’t want to shy away from stuff like that, if anything it will motivate him and when he gets his chance, he’ll be desperate to prove to everyone that he is as good as he says he is.”

Watch day one of the second Test between England and Australia at Lord’s from 10am, Wednesday on Sky Sports The Ashes.

2019-08-13T17:21:09+01:00By |

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