Skip­per Root throws down the gaunt­let

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - SPORT -

– England cap­tain Joe Root yes­ter­day told Aus­tralia to “bring it on”, vow­ing to fight fire with fire as his team ex­pect a hos­tile re­cep­tion at next week’s first Ashes Test in Bris­bane.

Root said he was un­fazed by talk that Aus­tralia would tar­get him as he pre­pared for the first of five Ashes Tests at the Gabba and said his side will be hit­ting back hard.

“From our point of view, we’ll be

Townsville

tar­get­ing every sin­gle one of them (the Aus­tralians),” the 26-year-old told re­porters ahead of a sec­ond four-day warm-up match against the Cricket Aus­tralia XI in Townsville.

“Bring it on. It’s what it’s about. You want that com­pet­i­tive el­e­ment to it and there are lit­tle in­house ri­val­ries if you like.

“It should be a great se­ries and they’ve got some great play­ers within their squad and some good char­ac­ters as well. They’ve got a lot of qual­ity in their at­tack but we’ve got a lot of qual­ity in our team as well.”

Root said he ex­pected a “hos­tile, very loud and rowdy at­mos­phere” in Bris­bane, but said England were work­ing hard to be “ab­so­lutely ready” for the first game”.

One key con­cern is a lack of big runs for England’s top or­der in the warm-up games so far. –

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