• Root readies for fidgety Smith

    England captain Joe Root is determined to successfully combat Australian batsman Steve Smith’s unorthodox technique during this week’s second Ashes Test at Lord’s in London.

    Smith’s unconventional approach was showcased during last week’s consecutive centuries, which spearheaded the tourists to a comfortable victory in the first Test and an early lead in the series.

    ‘It’s something you’ve got to look past. A lot of what he does is try to put you off in a way, trying to make it look extremely different – so you have to think way outside the box. You look at his dismissals over a period of time, it’s not far away from everyone else’s, the movements before and after it might look slightly different,’ said Root.

    ‘You’re always looking at different ways how you can try and get someone out. I think maybe one thing that could have been done slightly better, me personally as captain, was stick to a plan for a little bit longer, give it a chance to work a little bit more. But he did play well. I think it was 18 times early on in that first innings he played and missed.’

    Root is looking forward to the pace debutant Jofra Archer will add to the hosts’ bowling attack. Archer has effectively replaced the injured James Anderson.

    ‘It’d be nice if he was staying up at 88 to 92 miles per hour, around that bracket, for the chances he gets to bowl. He’s very skilful as well. Everyone talks about his pace and his easy action but he’s got some very good skills. He gets the ball moving around both ways. Factor that in with the pace he bowls, he will cause a lot of problems, I’m sure,’ he added.

    Photo: Getty Images

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