Joe Root says the English harbor master’s office is “not a dictatorship” as tourists prepare to try and keep the Ashes series alive in Boxing Day test at the MCG.
Root called his offense to be “more courageous” by playing longer after Australia won 2-0 with a resounding 275 point victory at the Adelaide Oval.
England start the third test in Melbourne knowing they have to win to have any chance of retrieving the urn and captain Root sees no problem with himself and the bowlers having a difference of opinion.
“I like to hand this responsibility over to our bowlers, especially the older ones,” said Root. “They [James Anderson and Stuart Broad] have over 300 tests between them and over 1,000 wickets, and they know what they’re doing.
“It’s working alongside them, it’s not a dictatorship. From time to time, we don’t always agree on everything and that’s good.
“At the end of the day, it’s about getting to a point where you get the results we want. Unfortunately, in the last game, we didn’t quite get there.”
Root will break former Pakistani batter Mohammad Yousuf’s record of 1,788 tests in a calendar year if he scores 159 or more in England’s last game in 2021.
England need to raise their level of play on the pitch, having lost at least five catches in four of their last five tests. They put Adelaide seven chances.
Australia have lost two of the previous three Boxing Day Tests with both losses attributable to India.
England set to ring the bell
Tourists are expected to wield the ax after two heavy losses, with Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Jack Leach and Mark Wood potentially getting the nod.
Rory Burns is said to be in danger of being abandoned and fellow opener Haseeb Hameed is also under pressure, while Chris Woakes looks likely to miss after completing 149 races and taking just one wicket in the second test.
Ollie Pope was also in a bad mood early in the series, failing to hit double digits in his final three innings after starting with 35 at Gabba.
Crawley has not played for England since a draw with India at Trent Bridge in August.
Cummins returns, Labuschagne on top of the world
Pat Cummins returns to skipper Australia after failing the latest test due to close contact with a positive coronavirus case at a restaurant in Adelaide.
Australia now has the number one try-pitcher in the world at Cummins and the best hitter on the planet, with Marnus Labuschagne taking that coat from Root.
Labuschagne is the series’ leading scorer with 228 to an average of 76 after his first century of ashes in the second test.
Josh Hazlewood is set to miss again with a side injury, so Jhye Richardson should have another chance after winning a five-wicket first down on his Ashes debut last week.