England Test skipper Joe Root has backed the team’s decision to go for a draw in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s. According to Joe Root, playing it safe has given England a chance to push for a series win at Edgbaston.
New Zealand set England a sporting target of 273 in 75 overs in the first Test. However, the hosts settled for a draw and received a lot of flak for playing dull and boring cricket.
Joe Root, though, defended the move to not go for the target. He was quoted as telling ESPNcricinfo:
"I have had some time to think about that. I look at the situation we found ourselves in and I still feel we made the right decision. We have turned up here with an opportunity to win the series. It is not part of the Test championship but it is a Test match and that means a hell of a lot to the players and the group."
The England captain asserted that, if the opportunity arises in the second Test, the team will definitely be more aggressive. Admitting that England do not want to be viewed as a dull Test side, Joe Root said:
"We are very keen to put in five days of strong cricket this week and win the series. If the opportunities arise, we will definitely look to be aggressive. I do not want us to be considered a negative team who play a boring brand of cricket."
Joe Root added:
"We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful passages of cricket, and hopefully, that will come to light this week."
An opportunity for batsmen to go out and score Test runs: Joe Root
England’s batting department has not been at their best since the start of the Test series in India. At Lord’s, it was Rory Burns (132) who had to single-handedly pull the team out of trouble in the first innings.
The likes of Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dan Lawrence have struggled for consistency. Backing his batsmen to come good, Joe Root said:
"I see it as an opportunity to go out and score Test runs for their country and I hope they view it like that. They have an opportunity, but also a responsibility to play the situation in front of them to the best of their ability."
Joe Root added:
"They have to try and eradicate any other thoughts, other than getting absorbed in that moment to get ready for that next ball. That's the mindset we want to create. Guys come into this team and can seamlessly fit in and do their roles.”
England will take to the pitch at Edgbaston without one of their heroes from the first Test - Ollie Robinson. The 27-year-old has been suspended from international cricket after old ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ tweets resurfaced following his Test debut.