Joe Root is under pressure following his decision to bowl in the second Test at Adelaide Oval    Getty Images
Joe Root is under pressure following his decision to bowl first in the second Test at Adelaide Oval Getty Images

England‘s Test skipper Joe Root has been under the pump following his much-talked about decision to bowl first against Australia in the second Test at Adelaide. After Australia posted 442 for 8 decl, England batsmen will have to step up against a quality bowling lineup. At stumps on Day Two, England are 29 for 1, and Root will have to make a big statement with the willow to silence his critics. Nonetheless, coach Trevor Bayliss backed Root, and stated that the bowlers had to take more wickets with the new ball. In addition, he mentioned that the batsmen will have to stay for long periods to make a match out of it.

What’s the fuss about?

Only 21 times in the last ten years have England captains won the toss and bowled in Test cricket. Out of these, England have won just six times. On the contrary, teams who batted first in the two day-night Tests at Adelaide Oval till date – New Zealand (2015) and South Africa (2016) – lost. This could perhaps be more relevant to Root’s decision, and the only saving grace for the Englishman at present.

Bayliss backs Root

“One of our challenges is taking wickets on flatter wickets so Joe wanted to give our guys the best opportunity to take 20 wickets. It was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly. For us to win games, we’ve got to take 20 wickets and Joe thought that was our best opportunity, to bowl first on a fresh wicket.”

‘Another two-three nicks might have had us in different position’

“On the whole, I thought we were pretty good. The first morning, we were probably a little bit short on the whole. The first rain break came and we had a bit of a chat about it and I thought the next couple of sessions, we bowled pretty well. We didn’t have a whole lot of luck but that’s the game of cricket. On another day, another two of three nicks might have had us in a different position.”

‘We have got to make the best of what have we’

“On that wicket, the bowlers we’ve got are more than capable of taking wickets and creating chances. I thought we did over the last day or two but it didn’t go our way on this occasion. The bowlers we’ve got are the bowlers we’ve got. There’s no use wishing or hoping that someone else is going to come along with the click of our fingers. That’s what we’ve got and we’ve got to make the best we can out of it.”

Mood in the dressing room

“They’re confident, there’s a good feeling in the dressing room. They’re certainly not disheartened. Shaun (Marsh) showed that it’s possible to score runs out there. A lot of their batters made starts.

It’s a big day of batting tomorrow and hopefully we can go out and bat big. That means batting all day tomorrow and well into the fourth day. We’ve certainly got the batters that are more than capable but it’s going to be a tough task. There’s a long time left in the game so it’ll be up to one or two of our guys to go out and make a big score, not just a forty or fifty.”