SL v ENG 2021: "I've readied myself for it," Joe Root to bowl longer spells during Sri Lanka Test series

Root has 29 wickets to his name in the longest format of the game.

Joe Root | GettyEngland skipper Joe Root will showcase his off-spin skills during the upcoming two-Test series in Sri Lanka, where the pitches are expected to assist the spinners.

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Root, who boasts more than 7000 Test runs to his name, has also taken 29 wickets in the longest format of the game, with the best figures of 4-87 against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in January last year.

With Moeen Ali ruled out of the opening Test against Sri Lanka due to extended COVID-19 quarantine, Root could end up balancing England's XI as a third slow bowler in addition to Dom Bess and left-armer Jack Leach.

"I've readied myself for it," Root told a conference call with British-based reporters, as quoted by AFP. "I've prepared for it in practice and it does seem to be coming out okay at the moment.

"With any attack, in any conditions, it's about performing in partnerships and working with guys at the other end. I'll just try to execute the role that is needed. If it is the case that I need to bowl longer spells than previously and take a bigger workload in this series then I'm looking forward to that challenge."

The England captain also highlighted the importance of starting the short series with a win.  

"So many times in these two-match series, it's imperative you get off to a good start," said Root. "Look back to New Zealand, we had a terrible first morning session and it wiped the series out for us.

"We have started series poorly, as was mentioned last summer (in England), and if we are to keep improving as a team we can't be behind the eight ball going into the second Test match of every series," he added.

"We are very keen to start off strongly and to get ahead of the game. The way we are going to do that is by scoring big first-innings runs and controlling the game."

Galle International Stadium will host both the Test between Sri Lanka and England behind closed doors amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

While the first Test will begin on January 14, the second Test will be played from January 22.


By Salman Anjum - 13 Jan, 2021

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