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England won't hit panic button, maintains Root

Staying calm: Joe Root
Staying calm: Joe Root

Joe Root insists England will "not make too many emotional decisions" after they crashed to a 251-run defeat against Australia at Edgbaston to fall 1-0 down in the 2019 Ashes.

England needed to bat out the final day to escape with a draw, but Nathan Lyon's six for 49 hastened their demise, all out for 146 before tea as Australia drew first blood in the series.

Lyon's efforts threw Moeen Ali's ineffective contribution into harsh light, with England's premier off-spinner offering neither a consistent threat nor control on day four as Australia racked up a mammoth total.

Moeen's place in the XI has come under scrutiny, with Jack Leach tipped to replace the Worcestershire all-rounder in the second Test at Lord's next week, but England captain Root was tight-lipped about the situation.

Root said: "With Mo, you've got to remember how threatening he can be and what an asset he has been. Whenever he's been written off before he generally comes back stronger.

"He'll be disappointed but I'm sure he'll dust himself down and make sure he's in a good head space going into Lord's.

"We've got to make sure we're very clear about how we approach the next game and not make too many emotional decisions. We'll sit down as a selection panel and pick a squad."

Root also defended the decision to field James Anderson after England's record wicket-taker was restricted to four overs on the opening morning before suffering an injury to the same right calf that left him doubtful.

Asked if he regretted selecting Anderson, Root replied: "No, not at all. He passed every medical testing. He was fit to play.

"It's one of those freak scenarios where he pulled up - because it's the same calf, we're not sure whether it's a slightly different injury, we'll have to wait to see."

With Anderson unlikely to feature at the Home of Cricket, Jofra Archer has been heavily linked to make his Test bow.

Archer, England's leading wicket-taker at the World Cup, will look to prove his fitness in a Sussex Second XI fixture this week.

Root added: "With Jofra, we're in a slightly different situation where he'll have played a lot of cricket in between and we'll have a clearer idea of where he's at."

Belfast Telegraph


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