Sport Root out to conquer unhappy hunting ground

03:10  08 december  2017
03:10  08 december  2017 Source:   MSN

Knives quickly out for English captain

  Knives quickly out for English captain England captain Joe Root's decision to bowl first in the second Ashes Test is rapidly attracting criticism from past players. The knives have quickly come out for England captain Joe Root after he snubbed history and chose to bowl first in an Adelaide Oval Test.Only one team has won after doing so.That triumph belongs to the then-mighty West Indies whose fearsome fast bowlers delivered victory in February 1982.On Saturday, in overcast conditions and forecast rain, Root won the toss and sent Australia in to bat in the second Ashes Test.

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England captain Joe Root.© AAP Image/Dave Hunt England captain Joe Root. ketBilled as one of the world's best batsmen, Joe Root is still searching for a breakthrough knock in Australia as he attempts to lead England out of trouble this Ashes.

Root, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson have been widely viewed as a class above their peers in recent years.

All four of the prodigies have become captains after turning heads with the quality and quantity of their Test runs.

All four have experienced highs and lows - it was only a year ago when Smith struggled to hide his frustration after a horrible loss in Hobart led to something of an overhaul of Australian cricket.

Moeen a doubt for second Ashes test, says Root

  Moeen a doubt for second Ashes test, says Root England all-rounder Moeen Ali is a doubt for the second Ashes test against Australia as he struggles to recover from a cut on his index finger, captain Joe Root said on Friday. Moeen, whose bowling was affected by the cut during England's 10-wicket defeat at the Gabba, would probably be retained as a batsman at Adelaide Oval in the match starting Saturday even if were unable to bowl, said Root.The skipper, however, would not rule out a potential test debut for legspinner Mason Crane, depending on the conditions and if Moeen was deemed unfit to play.

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But while Kohli and Williamson went blow for blow with Smith during century-laden tours of Australia in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively, Root is yet to fire a shot in Australia.

Root, in the midst of his first Test tour since Alastair Cook handed over the captaincy, is facing the greatest test of his leadership to date.

The intensity of an Ashes tour is all-consuming. Andrew Flintoff, who led England to a 5-0 loss in 2006-07, referenced it this year while describing captaincy as "the worst job" he has ever had.

Comment: Ashes 2017: Captain Joe Root feeling the heat as England unravel in second Test

  Comment: Ashes 2017: Captain Joe Root feeling the heat as England unravel in second Test The biggest challenge in Joe Root's career has become even more difficult after Australia inflicted another damaging blow on England's embattled skipper.Staring down the barrel of another heavy loss, the visitors needed something special from their leader but Root's dismissal highlighted the psychological hold Australia have over the Old Enemy.

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Root has posted two half-centuries in the current series to be England's leading run-scorer. The right-hander knows he must deliver far more imposing innings if his team are to become the second side in Ashes history to fight back from a 2-0 deficit and win a series.

Much has been made of Root's troubles kicking on after starts; just two of his past 13 Test scores of 50-plus have been converted into tons.

But the 26-year-old's record in Australia, where he was axed from the tourists' XI during Mitchell Johnson's rampage four years ago, also paints a frank picture.

Root's average from six Tests in Australia is a tick over 30. Shrink the sample size to first innings in Australia and his average is 11.5.

"I know I'm a good player, I know I'm going to score some runs out here," Root said after scoring nine and 67 in England's 120-run loss at Adelaide Oval.

Former England offspinner Graeme Swann feels captaincy is the cause of Root's recent issues.

"I wish he didn't have the burden and could just be our best-ever batsman," Swann told ESPNcricinfo

"This tour will be tough on him because that pressure will build and build."

Mitchell Starc, who once shared a dressing room at Yorkshire with Root during a county stint, suggested England's captain could "come out in the next couple of games and score some big scores".

"We know how good a player he is ... he's not someone you can take lightly," Starc said.

Smith is always keen to downplay talk of the rivalry between himself, Kohli, Root and Williamson but admitted in his recently-released biography that he always keeps an eye on their scores.

Chris Pratt comes under fire after praising hunter .
Hollywood star Chris Pratt has been bombarded by comments after congratulating a hunter who posted a picture of a deer they had just killed. Chris Pratt has come under fire after congratulating a hunter who shared a picture of a slaughtered deer.The 38-year-old actor - who is currently promoting his latest film, 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' - took to Twitter for a recent Q&A, but after being asked what his favourite animal is to kill, he was soon bombarded by fans.In response to a fan's photo of herself and a deer she had just murdered, Chris said: ''I like it all but it's hard to beat a good elk hunt.

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