Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 June 2019

Joe Root: England have 'point to prove' in second Pakistan Test

All-rounder Ben Stokes a fitness doubt ahead of match at Headingley starting Friday

England captain Joe Root catches in the slips during a nets session at Headingley. Gareth Copley/Getty Images
England captain Joe Root catches in the slips during a nets session at Headingley. Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England captain Joe Root admits his side have a "point to prove" as they face Pakistan in the second Test, possibly without the services of Ben Stokes.

All-rounder Stokes suffered a tight hamstring during fielding practice on Wednesday at Headingley and was limited to shuttle runs with the team physio on Thursday, despite reporting a slight improvement in the injury.

Stokes will undergo a scan to try to assess the extent of the injury and is likely to face a late fitness test before England name their side on Friday. Uncapped Surrey seamer Sam Curran, 19, has been called up as cover.

"Of course if Ben's fit we want him in the side, he's one of our best players, he brings a lot to the table and offers so much to this team," Root told Sky Sports News.

Pakistan won the first Test by nine wickets at Lord's last week and Root believes a quick return to action will benefit his side.

"I think it helps us getting straight back into it, not having too much time to think about things," Root said.

"It was very clear where we needed to improve from last week. We've had some good preparation, the guys have really worked hard and now it's just doing it, going out and proving a point, putting a really strong performance in as a group and showing some pride in the badge."


Read more on England v Pakistan:

Talking points: Where has it all gone wrong for Joe Root's side?

Pakistan's new era ushered in by bowling attack as England found out on Day 1 at Lord's

Amir's fitness and Buttler's credentials key talking points ahead of Lord's Test

Keaton Jennings replaces Mark Stoneman in England squad for second Test against Pakistan


Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings returns to the side to partner Alastair Cook at the top of the order and Root added: "He will be desperate to take his opportunity. Every player in this side wants to make an impact this week.

"Every time we play a Test match there are all sorts of different pressures that come with it and for Keaton it's a great opportunity. I hope he looks at it that way and goes out and expresses himself in his own way."

Asked if he was feeling the pressure of arresting England's poor run of form, Root said: "When you are winning and performing well you have to keep churning out those performances and when you're on the other side of it you've got to make sure you turn it round.

"As always I've gone into practice, felt if there were any areas I wanted to work on and got them done so I can go in full of confidence tomorrow and know I've given myself the best chance. It's nice to have that feeling going into any game."

Updated: May 31, 2018 05:51 PM



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