Cricket-Root reminds England of importance of ‘vital first 20 balls’


Cricket-Root reminds England of importance of 'vital first 20 balls'

AHMEDABAD, India, February 23 (Reuters) – England captain Joe Root believes stick collapses have become a “trend” in pink ball testing and cannot overstate the importance of the “first 20 vital deliveries” to his teammates before the third test against India on Wednesday.

The two teams will compete in the day-night competition at the world‘s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad after suffering batting debacles in their previous respective pink ball tests.

India were eliminated to a record low of 36 by Australia in Adelaide in December last year, while England lost 58 to New Zealand in their last pink ball match in Auckland in 2018.

“It seems like a trend, and it’s something that as a hitting group you need to make sure you stop,” Root said in a video conference Tuesday.

“One thing that sets me apart are the top 20 essential balls – making sure you get used to following the ball, getting used to the conditions and being very aware of how things can change throughout the day. .

“It’s not necessarily just that moment and the lights, or that twilight period. It sometimes happened right at the start of the game … later in day four, these weird passages of play happened.

“When you’re on the safe side, you’re on the pitch with a ball in your hand, you really have to take every opportunity and make it really count.

“Likewise, with a bat in your hand, you really have to make sure that those 20 balls, you’re okay.”

India tied the four-test series 1-1 with a complete victory in the second test in Chennai.

England must win the remaining two tests to advance to the final of the first home testing world championship against New Zealand in June.

Speedster Jofra Archer and top notch batsman Zak Crawley have returned to their physical form, while Jonny Bairstow is also available for selection after being rested for the first two games.

Root offered no clue about the eventual eleven in the game, but instead focused on England’s batting wealth.

“I think it’s a big headache to have with these two back guys,” he said.

“Now we have some tough decisions to make. But those are headaches that we didn’t have about a year ago. And now it shows the hard work these guys have done.”


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