Joe Root finds extra Ashes motivation after watching 'The Test'

By Sports Desk March 30, 2020

England captain Joe Root has been inspired to "do something special" during the next Ashes series against Australia after watching 'The Test'.

Root, like the rest of the United Kingdom, is in lockdown in a measure aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

With plenty of downtime, Root has started watching the Amazon docuseries 'The Test', which follows the fortunes of Australia's cricket team across eight episodes and culminates in the 2019 Ashes in England.

That series ended in a 2-2 draw, resulting in the tourists retaining the urn, and Root is now even more fired up for the next Ashes between the two countries in 2021-22.

"I resisted watching it for a good while but, having exhausted a lot of the shows I wanted to watch, it has come around," Root said on a conference call with reporters on Monday.

"It has been a good motivator to get back on the bike and incentivise myself.

"It goes without saying that the World Test Championship is very important and each game holds a huge amount of weight as we try and get into that final [scheduled for June 2021]. But a lot of things we do revolve around planning for that Ashes series.

"We have around 17-20 games until we go there and play - if all are played - and we have to use every opportunity to be ready for what those conditions throw at us, what Australia throw at us on and off the field.

"We need to use this time to ready ourselves to do something special because we know how challenging it can be to play there."

England were due to be in Sri Lanka now for a two-Test series, but they returned home as sporting events started to get cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Root's team are due to face West Indies and Pakistan in home Test series in the coming months, though they would appear in doubt too.

There have been reports that the Sri Lanka trip could be rearranged prior to England's five-Test tour of India in 2021 and Root is mindful about burnout for his squad.

"It would be a very tough winter, a huge amount of workload, especially on the multi-format players, but we have had some tough winters in the past and found ways to get through them," he added.

"It would be interesting to see how they would fit it in looking at the schedule right now but if it was to go ahead, we would have to be able to adapt, look at the squad sizes we take over and make sure guys weren't blown out and overworked."

Related items

  • ICC use Archer, World Cup-winning England to promote diversity ICC use Archer, World Cup-winning England to promote diversity

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) has used the example of a multi-ethnic England team, winners of the 2019 World Cup, to make its point about the importance of racial equality and inclusion.

    Earlier this week, former West Indies captain Darren Sammy called on the body to make its voice heard in standing up for racial injustice as protests continued to spread across the United States.  The unrest follows the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, by a white police officer.

    The Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin, was recorded kneeling on the neck of Floyd while he was pinned to the floor for several minutes during an arrest.  He went unconscious and later died at the hospital.  Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder.  The protests have, however, ballooned into an international call for an end to racial prejudice with several athletes and federations lending their voices to the cause.

    On Friday, the ICC posted a 90-second video clip of the final moments of victory for England with Barbados-born Jofra Archer bowling the thrilling Super Over against New Zealand.  "Without diversity, cricket is nothing. Without diversity, you don't get the full picture," read the message above the video, posted on social media platform Twitter.

    The England team that won the competition, in addition to Archer, featured players that had connections to several countries.  Eoin Morgan an Irishman was captain. The best performer was New Zealand born all-rounder Ben Stokes, with the spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid of Pakistani origin.

     

     

  • Windies trio rejected England tour over serious concerns for health, family Windies trio rejected England tour over serious concerns for health, family

    The three players who pulled out of the upcoming West Indies tour of England expressed serious misgivings about the risk posed to their health, despite the assurances provided.

    The trio, Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul, and Shimron Hetmyer all respectfully declined to be part of a 25-man squad picked to tour England next month.  With eyes firmly on the coronavirus epidemic, the three-Test series will be played in empty stadiums and players placed in a quarantined bio-secure environment as soon as they arrive in the UK.  In addition, the players will be brought in on a private flight.

    The precautions were, however, not enough to assuage the fears of the players. With 283,311 cases and 40,261 deaths, the UK recently took over from Italy as the European country most badly affected by the coronavirus.  In declining Bravo, Paul and Hetmyer wrote to the CWI authorities and cited concerns for themselves and their families.

    “Keemo Paul is the sole breadwinner in his entire household and wider family. He was really concerned if something happened to him how his family would cope,” CWI CEO Grave told ESPNCricinfo.

    “He wrote passionately about how hard a decision it was for him and how much he loves playing for West Indies, but after with consultation with his family he doesn’t feel he can leave them and doesn’t want to go on the tour,” he added.

    Grave went on to reveal that in a similar email from Hetmyer, he explained that he “didn’t feel comfortable from a safety point of view, leaving his home, leaving his family and heading over to England.”

    The CEO had earlier insisted the decision will not be held against any of the players.

  • Panel boots Ambrose, McGrath from Ultimate XI final consideration Panel boots Ambrose, McGrath from Ultimate XI final consideration

    When the SportsMax Zone and a panel of experts consider the monumental task of picking its four bowlers for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI One-Day International (ODI) team, there will be an omission of monstrous proportions.

    The panel will not be considering the impressive ODI career of one of Australia’s greatest pace bowlers, Glenn McGrath.

    Yesterday, the panel was asked to shortlist a shortlist of pace bowlers so they could discuss what the final list of bowlers looks like this evening. The results were shocking.

    From a list of 12 fast bowlers, only six have remained for consideration by the panel.

    The evening began with Dennis Lillee, Allan Donald, Shane Bond, Shaun Pollock, Curtly Ambrose, Brett Lee, McGrath, Richard Hadlee, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Chaminda Vaas, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding.

    The panel will consider no more, the cases of Lee, Bond, Pollock, Ambrose, McGrath, and Donald.

    There wasn’t complete unison in the decision, however, as statistician and sports writer Zaheer Clarke believes McGrath’s figures over the years, in particular, his World Cup figures makes it absurd that he is not to be considered for the final three placings in SportsMax’s Ultimate XI ODI team.

    Later this evening on the SportsMax Zone at 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time and 5:30 pm in the Eastern Caribbean, the panel will discuss which three of Australia’s Lillee, Pakistan’s Akram and Younis, the West Indies’ Garner and Holding, and New Zealand’s Hadlee will take the three fast-bowling spots up for grabs.

    At this point, like Clarke, Fanalysts believe the panel to be spewing hogwash with at least two of their decisions.

    For the Fanalysts, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, and Glenn McGrath are the three best ODI pace bowlers the world has ever seen.

    Remember, you can vote on what you want your Ultimate XI to look like by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner or clicking on the link here.

    The Fanalyst vote counts for 40% of overall votes, while the panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone have 30% each.

    To date, the Zone and panel have picked the same ODI Ultimate XI line-up, with that list looking like Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar as the openers, AB de Villiers, Viv Richards and Virat Kohli as the middle order batsmen 3-5, Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the wicketkeeper, and Imran Khan as the all-rounder.

    The Fanalysts have differed regarding the middle-order and the all-rounder, going for Brian Lara to join de Villiers and Kohli, and Jacques Kallis to do all things cricket.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.