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Adapt and Do Things With a Patient Approach If Need Be: Joe Root

The series will also be the first Test assignment for Chris Silverwood, who was promoted from bowling coach to head coach, after Trevor Bayliss opted to not renew his contract post the home Ashes series earlier this year.

Cricketnext Staff |November 16, 2019, 5:19 PM IST
Adapt and Do Things With a Patient Approach If Need Be: Joe Root

England’s recent Test form is not very promising, having lost four of their last five on the road apart from the Ashes on home soil. And skipper Joe Root hopes his side will be able to switch off from the fast lanes of limited overs cricket to red-ball cricket.

Root made it clear that he expects the English batsman to bat long periods and torment the bowlers, much like Steve Smith’s approach.

The last time they were in New Zealand, in March-April 2018, England were blown away by the new-ball pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, and were bundled out for 58 in the opening session of the first Test in Auckland. It cost them the game and, eventually, the series.

"We have to be prepared to play some attritional cricket at times," Root said, ahead of England's final warm-up match before the Test series.

"We have to try to bat longer. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get a good score on any given wicket. Time has never really been an issue in Test cricket, especially in the modern game, where things naturally move quicker than they have in the past. It would be nice to get used to batting for 120 overs more regularly, especially in the first innings.

"It's with the ball as well. We have to be prepared to go at two an over and build pressure in different ways. You can fall into the trap when playing in English conditions, as they've been in the last couple of years, and get used to Test cricket being played in fast forward.

"But it's not like that everywhere you go. So we've got to be prepared to adapt. And if that means doing things slightly differently – whether it's controlling the rate with the ball, or being prepared to score at two an over for 150 overs, if that's what it takes to make 400 – then we've got to be prepared to do that."

The visitors have been preparing well as they piled on the runs in the two-day warm-up and scored 387/2 in 87 overs. Newcomers Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley notched up centuries and will be hoping to make it to the team for the first Test.

"It was really pleasing to see Sibley and Crawley not waver from how they would go about things in their normal county environment," Root said. "It's what you always want but you don't always see it. For two young lads to come in and set the tone for the tour was really pleasing. We set our stall out exactly how we want to template our Test cricket.

"That first session was obviously going to be the most challenging one for us and I think we only scored at two an over. But we were only one down at lunch and, as the game progressed, we knew we had guys capable of upping the ante if we need to. I thought the template and the tempo of how we went about it was much more how I want to see us play in future."

The series will also be the first Test assignment for Chris Silverwood, who was promoted from bowling coach to head coach, after Trevor Bayliss opted to not renew his contract post the home Ashes series earlier this year.

"Chris has been around the group for two years, so we've had a really strong relationship anyway," Root said. "We're very much on the same page about how we take this team forward."

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