Root’s team made a collective statement at Lord’s last week wearing black T-shirts with the slogan “cricket is a game for everyone” and seven different designs that highlight specific forms of prejudice.
They were also with their opponents in a ‘moment of unity’ to show their shared values before the first ball was thrown, although the atmosphere was soon shattered by the appearance of racist and sexist tweets posted several years earlier by newcomer Ollie Robinson. .
The England and Wales Cricket Board suspended the closer pending an investigation and resolved to search for potentially offensive material posted by other members of the national team.
Despite that, Root made it clear that his side will make another public gesture with Edgbaston.
“It has been an uncomfortable week for everyone. But we are committed to making a positive change in our sport. That doesn’t change just because of what happened, ”he said on the eve of the match.
“It doesn’t change anything in terms of how we want to do things in the future. We will continue to wear those jerseys, we will continue to find ways to educate ourselves as players and as a group, and we will continue to find ways to improve our sport.
“Of course there have been some uncomfortable things that have come to light in the last week and we have to acknowledge and accept it. We are still very committed to that, even in light of what happened. That is not going to influence us. If we can do that and keep trying to spread that message, a lot of good things can come from some bad things that have happened in the last week. “
While Root has clearly put a great deal of time and thought into the matter, it is only part of his responsibilities as captain of the England Test. For the next five days, his overwhelming priority will be to get a win in Birmingham, thus stealing the series after finishing second in last week’s rain-affected draw.
“As professionals, we know we have a job to do this week. When we start training, our total focus is to prepare for that test match and make sure that at the beginning of the game we are fully engaged, ”he said.
“We have certainly used the last two days to prepare as best we could. That will be exactly the same tomorrow and we will make sure that we are absolutely ready to go. “
Given that Robinson is no longer on the team and Mark Wood is most likely rested, there will likely be two openings at the XI. Olly Stone can be confident of taking one of those at his home field, guaranteeing England a fast 90mph, with last place a close distance between Somerset duo Craig Overton and Jack Leach.
The hot, dry conditions expected this week could play into the left arm spinner’s hands, but England could also see Overton’s top hitting as a useful bulwark against an otherwise vulnerable tail.
“It is something that we will have to consider. Without that true all-rounder, which we normally have with the likes of Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes, things change slightly, “said Root.
“It’s going to be unbalanced in any way we balance it. We will feel that we are missing something. “
England also expects to play in front of a maximum of 17,000 fans each day, their highest attendance at home in nearly two years given the Test’s status as a Government pilot event. Having settled for a shy draw last time, Root insisted that he would like to reward the crowd with an adventurous approach if possible.
“We are all well aware that we are in the entertainment business,” he said.
“If opportunities arise, we will definitely look to be aggressive. I don’t want us to be considered a negative team that plays a boring kind of cricket. We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful cricket passages and we hope they come out this week. “
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This notice was published: 2021-06-09 21:13:38