Root admits he was wrong to expect too much from England superhero Stokes in First Test drubbing vs Australia

Root admits he was wrong to expect too much from England superhero Stokes in First Test drubbing vs Australia

Joe Root admitted that he expected too much from Ben Stokes in the first Test as he thinks he is a ‘superhero’.

Root believed that Stokes could continue his stellar exploits of the past few years against Australia – despite not playing since July.

Root sees Stokes as 'superhero'


Root sees Stokes as ‘superhero’credit: Getty Images

In this incident, Stokes struggled in Brisbane, scoring five and 14 and scoring 0–65 in 12 overs to beat England by nine wickets.

The star all-rounder lacked form, confidence and match practice and also injured his left knee while fielding.

But Root is sure that Stokes will deliver a match-winning performance at some level in the next four Ashes Tests.

If England are to level the series with the pink ball in the second Test starting tonight in Adelaide, they can certainly do something special with their big friend.

And there were promising signs in training on Tuesday when Stokes cranked up his bowling to max speed – and hit Root a couple of times in the nets and once over the body at the helmet.

Root said: “It was a huge question for Ben and I’m probably just as guilty as anyone – I expected too much from him because I almost see him as a superhero.

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“Look at what he’s done over the years. At least once in the series, maybe twice in the series, he’s done something extraordinary that’s won a game on his own.

“And you get a little complacent about expecting it. It’s easy to forget that on such a big occasion, whether she hasn’t played a huge amount or because of all the things she’s had to do recently, that’s why But there was more.

“But you know what his character is, it must have inspired him even more to put him in one of those magical performances.

“Whether it comes this week or ahead of the series, I know it’s there. I know it’s going to come — it’s just when.”

Stokes took a break from cricket after a few years of turmoil to protect his mental health and underwent further surgery on his troubled left index finger.

He declared himself available for the tour only two weeks after the original squad was selected. Before arriving in Australia, Stokes had not played a Test match since March.

England consider the two-day/night Test – next month’s final in Hobart also in the spotlight – due to the potential of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson as their best chance.

But England have lost all three of their overseas pink ball matches while Australia’s domestic record is eight in eight.

Unless many England players, especially the batsmen, make significant improvements in their efforts in recent months, it will be impossible to produce a positive result.
England have seven Test centuries this year – Root has scored six of them and Rory Burns has scored another.

Burns has also recorded six ducks – the first ball of the series being bowled.

At times Root should feel like a one-man team but he is ready to take the failures of others on his shoulders.

Root insisted: “Rory is a very strong character. One thing you can never doubt is that side of his game.

“He is someone who will get stuck, he enjoys a great opportunity and he takes up challenges.

“It’s a marathon not a sprint. These sports move fast and there will be opportunities to move forward.”

Spinner Nathan Lyon, who took his 400th Test wicket in Brisbane, believes the Aussies can complete the whitewash.

He added: “I believe we can definitely win 5-0.

“If we prepare well and play the right positive brand of cricket under our new captain, there’s no reason we can’t win 5-0.”

England would like to play a spinner in Adelaide but may opt to bring in Broad and Anderson for Chris Woakes and Jack Leach.

Josh Hazlewood is definitely out for Australia and David Warner is battling a rib injury. His absence will make him quite vulnerable.

England (probable): Burns, Hameed, Malan, Root (c), Stokes, Pope, Buttler (wk), Robinson, Wood, Broad, Anderson.

Australia (probable): Harris, Khawaja, Labuschagne, Smith, Head, Green, Carey (wk), Cummins (c), Starc, Lyon, Richardson.


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