Decision on pacers’ recovery in next couple of days: Root


England captain Joe Root said on Wednesday that they will decide over the next few days if pacers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson are fit enough to play in the fifth Test at Manchester on Friday. Both Anderson and Robinson have limited time to recover quickly from the workload of bowling 96.3 overs overall during Englands 157-run loss at The Oval on Monday.

“That’s something we will weigh up over the next couple of days. These two days are really important for recovery and making sure that they are in a position to play Test cricket. One thing you have to do is trust the medical advice that’s been given. Also, speak to the players that know their own bodies better than anyon”,” said Root in a virtual interaction.

“You don’t want to go into a Test match playing someone under risk of injury. You want to make sure to do the best thing for the player. But also, you don’t want to go into a Test match and someone goes down injured and you have got one less bowler at your disposal,” added Root.

“There are a number of things to factor in. Of course, we will make sure we are very confident that everyone is fit to take the field and to put in a Test worthy performance well when it comes round to selecting the team for this game,” said Root.

Root also confirmed that Jos Buttler will come back in the eleven after attending the birth of his second child, Margot, and take up keeping duties from Jonny Bairstow. This means that either Bairstow or Ollie Pope will sit out of the Manchester Test. “Jos is the vice-captain of the team. He is integral to what we are about. I know his output, in terms of runs, hasn’t been as high as he would have liked, but we know what a great player he is. Jos will be back as vice-captain and he will keep wicket.”

Root felt that England must learn to cope better with high-pressure moments in the ongoing Test series against India.

“I’d say that within this series, there have been half an hour periods in the game where we have not managed it as well as’them and it’s really cost us. We are sat 2-1 down instead of potentially 3-0 up.

“You look at Lord’s in that half an hour with the ball in hand. You look at the spell of bowling from Bumrah. They have really cost us the two games.’

“It is about managing those passages better and finding a way to get through difficult periods as a batting group. Being smarter about how we’re going to go about containing it and getting that lower order are things we need to make sure we get better at and we’re learning about it as the series goes on and over time when we’re in those situations again we’re on the right side of it.”

The fifth Test between England and India will be played at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester from September 10. India lead the five-match Test series 2-1.