England Test captain Joe Root is hopeful the current group of players can propel the team to the top of the ICC rankings in the longest format of the game. The right-handed batsman made the comments ahead of the third and final Test against Pakistan as he urged his teammates to end their Test season with a win.
The third Test will end England’s six-Test home summer which started with the three-match series against West Indies. The Joe Root-led side had won the first Test of the season to West Indies before winning the next two to seal the series. In the ongoing series, they have an unassailable lead after winning the first game before the second one ended in a tame draw due to poor weather.
“We know we are not the finished article, we know we have challenges and hurdles to overcome, and things we need to get better at if we want to be the No. 1 team in the world,” Joe Root told reporters on Thursday.
“But I can certainly see this group of players going on to do that. We have got a great group of bowlers now that we feel cover a number of different surfaces and challenges wherever we go in the world. That is an exciting place to be,” he added.
He further confirmed that England will only decide on the morning of the Test whether to go with an all seam attack, or select spinner Dom Bess who has not been used much by the hosts in pacer-friendly conditions.
“We have not settled on an XI yet, it is so hard to tell with that wicket right now,” Joe Root said.
“It has been mostly under cover for the last week, and with the sun finally out and a bit of wind, it could change drastically over the course of today. So we want to keep everything on the table and then make a strong call tomorrow,” he added.
England are eyeing their first Test series win over Pakistan in a decade. Since beating Pakistan at home in 2010, England have not won against them in four attempts with the last two series including two in England ending in draw.