Root expects to be challenged
FEAR is not in the English team’s vocabulary despite threats of an onslaught from the Australian pace attack at the Gabba next week.
As his team looks for runs in its final warm-up match in Townsville starting today, England captain Joe Root said his men had “got their heads around” what was going to come their way in Brisbane.
Aussie quick Pat Cummins declared he, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood had spoken about being “in the face” of the tourists and “aggressive” from ball one.
But Root said his batsmen did not fear the challenge.
“I’m not sure those will be the words flying around our dressing room. These are the sort of statements you expect a week out from the start of an Ashes series,” he said.
“Last time that maybe caught us out, but we are a bit wiser to it this time around.”
England looks to have settled on its batting line-up for the first Test, with Gary Ballance left out of the team to play a Cricket Australia XI in the four-day game of the tour.
It means Mark Stoneman will likely open with Alastair Cook, with Dawid Malan and James Vince in the top six with Root and Jonny Bairstow.