Root: I’m ready for any­thing

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT -

JOE Root has told Aus­tralia to “bring it on” if they set out to tar­get him in the Ashes series, in­sist­ing Eng­land are bet­ter pre­pared for the host’s ag­gres­sion than four years ago.

Root’s wicket will likely be the most prized English scalp this sum­mer, given his stand­ing as cap­tain and world No.2 ranked bats­man.

Aus­tralian spin­ner Nathan Lyon had no doubt last week that he and the three-pronged pace at­tack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cum­mins and Josh Ha­zle­wood would make Root a hunted man.

Vice-cap­tain David Warner, who had an off-field run in with Root in 2013, also called for um­pires to be more le­nient on sledg­ing be­tween the two ri­vals dur­ing the series.

But Root said if the Aussies wanted to go af­ter him, be­gin­ning with next week’s first Test, he would take it in his stride.

“I’ve heard a lot of chat about them tar­get­ing me in par­tic­u­lar,” Root said yes­ter­day.

“Bring it on. it’s what it’s about. You want that com­pet­i­tive el­e­ment and there are lit­tle in-house ri­val­ries.

“It should be a great series and they’ve got some great play­ers within their squads and some good char­ac­ters which will make for a great Test.”

Re­gard­less, Root in­sists the English are in a far bet­ter po­si­tion for Aus­tralia’s ag­gres­sion than when they suf­fered just the third 5-0 Ashes white­wash in 2013-14.

Back then, Mitchell John­son tor­mented the vis­i­tors with fast-paced short bowl­ing, while Michael Clarke’s in­fa­mous bro­ken arm com­ment to tailen­der James An­der­son high­lighted the hosts’ sledg­ing.

“I think last time maybe caught us out, I think we’re a lot wiser to it this time around,” Root said.

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