England v Australia - 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Two
England v Australia - 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Two

Scars won’t heal soon for Root’s fragile England

The scars of being bowled out for 67 will haunt England no matter what they have to chase to save the Ashes at Headingley, according to Australian quick Josh Hazlewood.

After a day unlike any he could remember, Hazlewood also put a target on England captain Joe Root's back after dismissing him for a sixth time in Test cricket, as he was out for a second consecutive duck.

No-one in world cricket has dismissed Root more than Hazlewood whose stunning opening spell of 2-4 was the catalyst for England's greatest Ashes collapse in 71 years.

The Headingley scoreboard made for enjoyable reading for Australian players and fans.
The Headingley scoreboard made for enjoyable reading for Australian players and fans.

 

Hazlewood, was part of the Australian team bowled out for 60 at Trent Bridge in 2015.

He said low scores were hard to come back from in any match, but the negativity that comes with that sort of humiliation would be hard to shake.

Only three teams have chased down more than 300 to win at Headingley, including the West Indies getting 322 in 2017, and Australia, thanks to 174 from Sir Donald Bradman, chasing 404 in 1948.

 

 

But with a lead of 283 already, Hazlewood, who finished with his best Ashes figures of 5-30, said Australia would "keep the foot down" and continue to rattle England's frail mental state.

"We might be starting with a few scars there. I'm not sure ... 60's hard work to come back from during a Test," he said.

 

England left the field visibly broken after their horror show on day two of the third Ashes Test.
England left the field visibly broken after their horror show on day two of the third Ashes Test.

 

"I don't think many teams are winning if one of their innings is 60 or 70 runs, it makes it difficult.

"I think if we start well again next innings, they might think 'here we go again' so it's about creating that doubt in the mind, I think, through the way we've gone about it, is not letting the foot off, just keep going."

Hazlewood has been all over Root since coming back in to the team for the Lord's Test, getting the England skipper for 14 in the first innings there, and zero, with a second ball peach, at Headingley.

 

Josh Hazlewood led the rout with a five wicket haul.
Josh Hazlewood led the rout with a five wicket haul.

 

The Aussies believe England is vulnerable when the captain goes, and after elevating himself to number three in their batting order, getting Root sooner rather than later is their number one goal.

"I certainly like him in there as early as possible. They follow him a little bit, he's the leader, he's the captain, he's got the best average, he's their best batsman going by numbers," Hazlewood said.

"So if we can get him I think they can be vulnerable at times, same as any other team if their best batter's out you feel a bit more relaxed about your business."

Hazlewood credited his form surge with a strong body, and the need to "stay on his toes" after years of being a Test certainty but now with the likes of Mitch Starc and Peter Siddle on the bench, and ready to perform whenever needed.

 

Joe Root’s leadership of his side has been questioned after he squandered favourable conditions.
Joe Root’s leadership of his side has been questioned after he squandered favourable conditions.

 

"Yeah I guess at times you might get a little bit comfortable, a little bit relaxed in there's no-one really knocking the door down," he said,

"I guess that can happen at certain times. But when they're right here training every day, putting pressure on you every day, it adds that extra element I think."

 

News Corp Australia


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