England captain Joe Root will be seen back in action after the India tour, where his team lost the Test series 3-1. Root flew back home and was not part of the ODI series or the T20I series that England also lost.
Root and his team will be preparing for New Zealand and India who will travel to their shores. New Zealand will be facing England in a series of two Tests, while India and England will clash in the five-match Test series named after late great Tiger Pataudi.
However, it seems the challenge for the England team will be to hit the peak at the right time before playing Australia in their own backyard in the upcoming Ashes 2021-22 series. Australia will be smarting due to been handed a 2-1 series loss by a second-string Indian team at the start of the year and would like to regain some face against arch-rivals England.
We’ve Not Had It All Our Own Way, But We Still Improved: Joe Root On England’s Progress As A Team
England have not had it easy in terms of playing cricket in the bio-bubbles and there have been more than enough criticism of their player rotation policy, which was blamed for their Test series loss in India and which eventually cost them a berth in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) at home.
“We’ve made good strides over the last couple of years as a Test team. It’s not been plain sailing, we’ve not had it all our own way, but we still improved. I truly believe we are making good strides in the right direction, and now we’ve got an opportunity to keep improving, keep getting better, and peak for Australia, which is the pinnacle for us,” Joe Root told Sky Sports.
“It’s very difficult at the minute, the circumstances make it very tricky. You’ve got to factor in so many different things and the welfare of the players is obviously paramount. But this is what you play for, years like this one. You want to pit yourself against the best, you want to be successful against the best, and this is the opportunity to do it,” said Joe Root.
It’s Always A Tricky Balance: Joe Root On Fielding New Faces Against New Zealand
England will be forced to field new faces in the two Tests against New Zealand, as some of their players are injured (Ben Stokes) and a couple of them are coming off the IPL duties. Root has also admitted that England’s new-look selection panel which is now led by the head coach Chris Silverwood will face a tricky balancing act.
“It’s always a tricky balance. What you’re trying to do is create that environment where you’ve got a strong squad of players that have been together for a good period of time, but no one going in cold. You can’t plan everything perfectly, especially at the minute with Covid. There might be natural opportunities where things arise, there might not be, but the most important thing is that we remain very open-minded about how we want to move going forward,” Joe Root said.
“When we sit down, we’ll factor in everything as best we can, and make sure that we’ve got a real clear idea of how we want to go, how we want the year to look, and how we’re going to peak for that tour of Australia,” Joe Root added.
The first Test between England and New Zealand will begin on June 2 and the match will be played at Lord’s Cricket Ground.