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Joe Root Admits England Have a 'Point to Prove' Against Pakistan

AFP |May 31, 2018, 9:57 PM IST
Joe Root Admits England Have a 'Point to Prove' Against Pakistan

London: England captain Joe Root has admitted his side have a "point to prove" as they look to square a two-Test series with Pakistan.

Root's men could be without Ben Stokes after the all-rounder suffered a tight hamstring during fielding practice at Headingley on Wednesday.

Stokes will now undergo a scan to assess the full extent of the injury and is set to face a fitness test before England decide whether he can face Pakistan at Yorkshire's headquarters when the series finale starts on Friday.

Uncapped teenaged Surrey seamer Sam Curran has been called up as cover for fellow paceman Stokes.

"Of course if Ben's fit we want him in the side, he's one of our best players, he brings a lot to the table and offers so much to this team," Root told Sky Sports on Thursday.

Pakistan won the first Test by nine wickets at Lord's inside four days on Sunday to go 1-0 up in a two-match series but Root believes the fact his team are back in action so soon will benefit them in Leeds.

"I think it helps us getting straight back into it, not having too much time to think about things," Root said ahead of a match at his Yorkshire home ground.

"It was very clear where we needed to improve from last week," added the batsman, whose England side have lost six of their last eight Test matches.

"We've had some good preparation, the guys have really worked hard and now it's just doing it, going out and proving a point, putting a really strong performance in as a group and showing some pride in the badge."

Lancashire's Keaton Jennings has been recalled to thr top of the order in place of the dropped Mark Stoneman to partner Alastair Cook.

"He will be desperate to take his opportunity," said Root of Jennings.

"Every player in this side wants to make an impact this week. Every time we play a Test match there are all sorts of different pressures that come with it and for Keaton it's a great opportunity.

"I hope he looks at it that way and goes out and expresses himself in his own way."

Root has found himself under pressure for a failure to convert fifties into Test hundreds, but he insisted he felt good about his game.

"When you are winning and performing well you have to keep churning out those performances and when you're on the other side of it you've got to make sure you turn it round," Root said.

"As always I've gone into practice, felt if there were any areas I wanted to work on and got them done so I can go in full of confidence tomorrow and know I've given myself the best chance.

"It's nice to have that feeling going into any game."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more
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