June 1, 2018 / 4:27 AM / 3 months ago

Cricket: England must answer critics with better performance - Root

(Reuters) - England need to prove their critics wrong following the crushing defeat to Pakistan in the opening test at Lord’s last week by targeting a quick turnaround to salvage a draw in the two-match series, skipper Joe Root said.

Cricket - England vs Pakistan - First Test - Lord's Cricket Ground, London, Britain - May 26, 2018 England's Joe Root looks dejected as he walks off after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley/Files

The hosts were thrashed by nine wickets inside four days last weekend and Root’s side go into the second test at Headingley starting on Friday with their backs against the wall.

“People have some strong opinions on where we are right now. All we can do is concentrate on performing well... if we perform well those opinions might change,” Root told British media.

The last time England lost the first test in a home summer was in 1995 against West Indies.

“When you play at the top level, if you don’t play well you come in for criticism. You have to not get too down about it,” Root, who admitted that an inexperienced touring side had completely outplayed England, added.

“You make sure that when you next get the opportunity to turn that round and put it right, you go out there and take it.”

All-rounder Ben Stokes sustained a hamstring strain during fielding practice this week and faces a late fitness test to be ready for the match. Uncapped Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran has been drafted in to the squad as cover.

“We will look at the nature of the injury and discuss all options,” Root added. “It might be that he’s absolutely fine and he can do everything and we’re in the same position we were at the start of the week.”

Cricket - England vs Pakistan - First Test - Lord's Cricket Ground, London, Britain - May 26, 2018 England's Joe Root in action Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley/Files

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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