England skipper Joe Root has put his weight behind Jack Leach and Rory Burns to find form in the second Test match against Australia after both of these players couldn’t deliver in the first Test at Gabba, Brisbane, which Australia convincingly won by nine wickets.
Burns was dismissed on the first ball of the series as he was cleaned by Australia’s gun fast bowler Mitchell Starc.
The southpaw was once again dismissed cheaply for 13 runs after Pat Cummins got the ball to bounce extra and the left-hander edged it to wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
On the other hand, England spinner Jack Leach had a horrid match in the first Test as he was taken for 102 runs in the 13 overs he bowled and could only scalp a solitary wicket in the first innings. Nathan Lyon meanwhile did a fine job as he scalped four wickets in the second innings.
Root added that Leach will want to make an impact in the rest of the series and he is expected to get help on the surfaces, which will be used in the remainder of the Ashes.
“We’ve obviously got some big decisions to make,” Root told reporters in Adelaide. “I’m sure [Leach] will want to respond and he’ll want to get back into the series and have an impact. “Some of the grounds that we will be going on from this point onwards should offer a lot more for him and bring spin into it as well.”
“Rory is a very strong character, you can’t doubt that side of his game,” said Root, himself strongly criticized back in England after winning the toss in Brisbane and opting to bat first. “He’ll come back in and want a response and want to put some big scores on the board.”
On the other hand, England talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes dismissed reports regarding his fitness due to a potential knee injury. Stokes revealed that it is an old injury that has resurfaced and he knows how to manage it.
“People will have seen me rubbing my knee from time to time when I was in the field, but rest assured I’m fine,” Stokes wrote in a column for the Daily Mirror. “It is an old injury that flares up every now and again, but I know how to manage it.”
The second Ashes Test match, which will be a pink-ball affair, will be played at Adelaide from December 16.