Joe Root’s mind wandering to a land down under as England captain sets sights on next year’s Ashes series in Australia ahead of return to ODI side
- Joe Root returns to England’s white ball set up for the series with South Africa
- The Test captain has his sights set on next year’s Ashes series in Australia
- The five-Test series will define the 29-year-old’s red-ball captaincy of the team
- Root is heavily focused on the series he labels ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’
Joe Root returns to the England white-ball side admitting he already has a certain date with Australia on his mind.
It is just under a year until the Ashes that will define the England red-ball captaincy of a man who has been unable to beat the old enemy in two series so far at the helm.
And even though Root will be back for England in the first one-day international here at Newlands after missing the Twenty20 series, he has begun looking ahead to what he calls ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’.
Joe Root returns to England’s white ball side with his eyes firmly set on the Ashes next year
The series could define Root’s captaincy, who is winless in two Ashes series as skipper
‘There’s no point hiding from the Ashes or trying to make it look as though we are not heavily focused on Australia because we are,’ said Root. ‘A lot of thought and planning has already gone into it.
‘But that doesn’t mean we’re not looking into what’s coming up and some of the challenges we face this winter (with Tests in Sri Lanka and India) will stand us in good stead when it comes to walking out at the Gabba.’
And Root believes England will be much better prepared to compete in Australia than the last time when, as a novice captain, he ended up exhausted and ill at the end of a 4-0 thrashing.
‘Our guys will be readying themselves for the opportunity of a lifetime,’ said Root, who says he has changed ‘a huge amount’ as captain since those inauspicious beginnings in 2017-18.
‘We have a good chance to build up for it. It was difficult last time because so much of our planning was focused on the World Cup but there are no excuses now. Get it right and we could be in a really strong place going out there.’ ends
Root says serious planning has already taken place ahead of the five-Test series in Australia