Sunday, January 29, 2023

England captain Root terms defeat “disappointing”


LONDON: England captain Joe Root on Sunday described the nine wicket defeat against Pakistan as “disappointing” and hoped his team will overcome the loss in the second Test at Leeds staring on Friday.

Pakistan cleaned up England’s four wickets in the space of just 18 balls for the addition of just seven runs and then wiped off the 64 needed for victory to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Pakistan outplayed their more formidable and experienced opponents as they bowled them out for 184 and 243 with paceman Mohammad Abbas taking eight wickets to deservedly win the man of the match award.

Mohamad Amir also finished with 4-36 as Pakistan’s pacers took 18 of the 20 wickets — the first time since January 2004 against New Zealand at Wellington.

Read More: Mohammad Abbas leads Pakistan boys to victory at Lord’s

Root admitted England did not bat well.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Root who made four and 68.  “We have been outperformed in all three departments, we have not batted well enough, first innings in particular. We have shown a bit of character in the second innings with the bat but we have to be better.

“There have been a number of collapses recently and we have to find a way as a group. That’s a very individual thing but ultimately it’s about working out there together, whether it’s absorbing a bit of pressure on occasions or being more patient.”

Root said patience will be the key with the team that has now lost six of their last eight Tests.

“We have to be more patient and take our opportunities when we get them. Over a longer period of time that’s going to pay dividends for us. We can do that next week and we must take that chance.

“We got it wrong, we know that. We need to be better in these conditions. These conditions suit us as well which is why it’s so disappointing. Look at that dressing room, it’s a talented team and there are guys in there who will do great things for England.

“Our next opportunity to do that is at Headingley. We’ve got to turn things around, we’ve got to be clever about how we do things. We’ve got to be smarter in certain situations. If we get that right you’ve seen the performances the guys can do, especially at home. It is disappointing.

Root admitted his team has not learnt quickly.

“We can’t ignore this. We have to learn from it quickly. But also we can’t put too much pressure on ourselves to change things. A lot of the things that we do are very good. We just have to do them more often.”

Root admitted his batsmen committed mistakes.

“We are ambitious, we want to win but sometimes we make poor decisions. We’ve got to be smarter with that. Guys have got to find a way of scoring runs. Ultimately it’s about the number of runs you score, not how long it takes you and maybe on occasion we need to absorb a bit more pressure. We’ve seen in the past guys like Ben Stokes come in at 40/4 and take a game away from a side. It’s a fine margin. You have to recognise the right times to attack.”

Root disagreed his team did not have good preparations.

“We had some really good practice days here and the majority of the guys had two championship games at least going in to this game. In that respect you’d like to think the guys had enough under their belt. You go into most series with two games so it’s an easy excuse to hide behind. The reality is we weren’t good enough this week and we were outperformed. It’s a bitter pill to swallow at home but that’s where we are at.”

On the spot-fixing allegations in India Root said: “I am aware that there is a documentary and it is outrageous that our players have been accused. All the players have the full backing of the ECB. It’s not anything for the guys to worry about, we have to focus on winning at Headingley. It’s an outrageous accusation and I’m sure that all the right channels will be taken by the ECB and those who need to worry about it.”


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