Joe Root tells England to upset Ashes odds in Australia's backyard

  • England captain tells Australia to ‘bring it on’ during series
  • Craig Overton likely to get call-up for first Test at Gabba

Joe Root’s instructions were curt but commanding as England gave their clearest indication yet of their Ashes XI and their captain urged Australia to “bring it on” with the first Test looming.

Root learned plenty from his first tour of Australia, when he was a blue-eyed freshman aged 22, averaged 27 and was removed from the line of fire by the time of the final Test in Sydney. He believes England were underprepared for the antagonistic atmosphere that awaited them and that he “wasn’t ready”. The result was England being “caught out”, then whitewashed. Between times, “everything seemed to happen quite quickly” and he soon discovered that Ashes tours do a remarkable line in unravelling.

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