Root urges England to seize the moment and seal series win

By Sports Desk August 20, 2020

Joe Root has urged England to seize the moment when they attempt to seal a series win over Pakistan with uncertainty over exactly when they will play Test cricket again.

England will start the third Test at the Rose Bowl on Friday with a 1-0 lead after a frustrating weather-ruined contest at the same venue ended in a draw on Monday. 

The tourists have not suffered a series defeat in England in the longest format for a decade, drawing on their previous two visits. 

England beat West Indies 2-1 when international cricket returned following a coronavirus-enforced hiatus and with scheduling still to be confirmed in such uncertain times, Root has called on his team-mates to step up again in Southampton. 

The England captain said: "My message to the guys was quite simple today, that we don't know when the next time will be that we play Test cricket, so let's make sure we throw everything into this week. 

"Let's make sure we leave no stone unturned and we give everything to each other and the badge going into this last game. 

"The guys have prepared really well over the last couple of days and I fully expect everyone to give everything over the next five days and give ourselves the best chance of winning the series 2-0." 

England have named an unchanged squad for the finale, but Root says the hosts will leave it late to name their final XI. 

Asked if spinner Dom Bess could miss out in favour of an all-seam attack, he said: "We've not settled on an 11 yet. It's so hard to tell with that wicket right now, it's obviously been under cover for a large proportion of the last week. 

"With finally some sunshine and a bit of wind, it could change drastically over the course of today. Try and keep everything on the table for tomorrow, then we'll make a call." 

The two sides agreed to start 30 minutes earlier than scheduled in the final Test if time is lost due to bad weather on the previous day.

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