According to The Guardian, Root, who faced some hostile bowling from Shannon Gabriel on the fourth day of the first Test, had an extended net session with the batting coach Mark Ramprakash.
It was during the second session of the morning that Root took a hit when a throwdown administered by the team analyst, Rupert Lewis caught him on the left hand after the ball reared up. Side-arm throwdowns are administered by most members of the management setup.
A short while later Root was receiving treatment on his right thumb from the team doctor, Gurj Bhogal, after the fitness coach, Phil Scott, was guilty of striking him.
Root then switched ends and started facing balls from the shoulder of coach Trevor Bayliss and appeared to be in discomfort, taking his hand off the bat and shaking it at times.
He later said all was fine and no hospital trip followed.
Root wasn’t the only one working on the short ball as Ben Stokes threw down soft balls aimed at Jos Buttler’s head. Rory Burns, who was England’s top-scorer in Barbados, said, “It’s obviously different to county cricket. You don’t have too many 90 mph bowlers floating around. At the same time, you have come across guys that bowl that speed and have dealt with it in the past. It was just a reminder that it is quick and it can be hostile at times.
“Gabriel is the quickest out of their four. It can be uncomfortable. He’s actually quite skilful and doesn’t give you that many balls to hit. You want to wear him down, keep him bowling, and you want them to use him as a sort of enforcer, the one pushing their attack and trying to make it uncomfortable.
“Sometimes you’ve got to absorb that pressure and counteract it. When you did that, he did bowl bad balls and you could put them away. But it’s about being able to absorb a lot of pressure.”
All the preparation is likely to hold the English in good stead as the West Indies have added another tearaway fast bowler in Oshane Thomas to their squad.
First Published: January 30, 2019, 1:48 PM IST