Eng vs NZ: “If the opportunities arise, we will definitely look to be aggressive” Joe Root on drawing criticism for playing safe in first Test

Root has defended his decision of going for a draw in the first of a two match Test series against New Zealand.

England Test captain Joe Root has found himself drawing criticism from former England players, cricket pundits for not going for a win in the first Test against New Zealand. England needed 273 in 75 overs on the final day as the third day was washed out without a ball being bowled.

When England decided to shake hands in the fourth innings, England was on 170/3. One of the general take-ups on England’s tactics as they were overcautious.

Joe Root was quoted by ESPNCricinfo saying that Test matches mean a hell of a lot to the player. Excerpts –

“I have had some time to think about that. I look at the situation we found ourselves in and I still feel we made the right decision. We have turned up here with an opportunity to win the series, albeit it is not part of the Test championship, but it is a Test match and that means a hell of a lot to the players and the group,” said Root.

Root who has 105 Tests to his name, added that they will look to be aggressive if there is a need to do so.
“We are very keen to put in five days of strong cricket this week and win the series. If the opportunities arise, we will look to be aggressive. I do not want us to be considered a negative team who plays athatring brand of cricket. We have some very exciting players who are capable of some wonderful passages of cricket and hopefully that will come to light this week,”

The drawn match was played in presence of the crowd, for the first time after the crowd wasn’t allowed due to COVID-19.

Root explained that he’s aware of it and cleared that they will go for a win if they see any chance for it.
“We are all very aware we’re in the entertainment business. We all want to be part of those games, those special games that provide that entertainment. They are the ones that you remember.”

“The ones that stick in my mind are the World Cup final, Headingley, Cape Town… the ones that go to the wire, they’re the ones you remember as a player and want to have big contributions in. Of course, if there are chances to go and win Test matches, we want to go and take them, if we feel like that’s a realistic possibility,” Root concluded.

In the ongoing second Test match, England won the toss and opted to bat. Score: England 1st Innings 67 for no loss in 29 overs, until lunch break. Openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley batting on 32 and 31 respectively.

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