Skipper Joe Root has ignored suggestions that captaincy is affecting his batting before England’s bid to level the Ashes series.
Root, 28, averages 30.87 from the series before the fifth and last Evaluation and 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 over from Alastair Cook in February 2017, Root averaged 52.80 with the bat, but that amount has fallen to 40.90 because – a duck in each of the last three Ashes Tests contributing to a 2-1 series deficit.
But when asked by Sky Sports when he feels the captaincy impacts his batting, Root stated:”No. It’s been a challenging season for batting on each side. I’ve not performed since I would have liked but that’s part and parcel of Test cricket.
“You have got to keep striving to discover means of counter-acting difficult passages of play and great bowling. I will continue trying to work on that and attempt to improve my game.”
Out-going head coach Trevor Bayliss defended Root’s captaincy on Wednesday, stating:”He’s not come under question from anyone making any conclusions. He’s under no pressure in any respect.”
Root stressed that he is focussed on trying to procure a series-levelling win before embarking upon which he hopes will succeed winter tours of New Zealand and South Africa.
He explained:”With regards to my captaincy, I understand the way I want to take this group forward in and it is all about starting that today rather than following this string – attempting to make certain that we use this as a stepping stone; win this match and then have a really strong winter and move ahead as a team.”
Australia ruler Tim Paine states that his side don’t have any intention of having a series win and enter the final Evaluation having retained the Ashes – the vacationers calling up Mitchell Marsh to get Travis Head.
England have made 2 changes in their own with Chris Woakes and Sam Curran returning in the expense of opener Jason Roy and seamer Craig Overton, and Root states the hosts are all determined to end the summer on a winning note.
“We’ve not lost anything yet,” he said. “Obviously, we’re disappointed not to win the Ashes back but we are entirely focused on making certain we do all we can to finish the series 2-2.
“We’ve got an opportunity to level this series and make it marginally better than it looks right now. So we have got to make sure that we win this game, that’s the focus of the group.
“And there is the Evaluation Championship points to play for as well, which down the line can make a massive difference, so there’s a lot to play for.”
View the fifth and final Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Thursday and follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App.
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