Joe Root: England can leave a legacy by taking different approach to Australia

Joe Root: England can leave a legacy by taking different approach to Australia

England batter Joe Root suggested the controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow in last week’s Lord’s Test could harm Australia’s “legacy” in the game.

The fallout from Alex Carey’s dismissal of his fellow wicketkeeper at Lord’s is showing no signs of slowing down and the issue has even reached Prime Ministerial level with both Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese wading into the debate.

England captain Ben Stokes made it clear at the end of the game that he would not have pursued the appeal, with Bairstow clearly treating the ball as dead after he ducked the final ball of a Cameron Green over, and his predecessor has backed up those words.

England’s Jonny Bairstow, left, looks frustrated after being run out by Australia’s Alex Carey
England’s Jonny Bairstow, left, looks frustrated after being run out by Australia’s Alex Carey (Mike Egerton/PA)

Root, who captained his country for five and a half years and knows plenty about the heat of the Ashes moment, expressed surprise at how much oxygen the issue was getting but made his own position clear ahead of Thursday’s third Test.

“There has been a lot said… I can’t believe how much has been covered on it. But if I try to put myself in that situation, I think I would have dealt with it very differently,” he said.

“I think Ben spoke very well on it. As a team we want to play our cricket in a certain way and leave a certain legacy. Clearly, it has been very different how we have gone about Test cricket in the past 18 months in terms of how we play our cricket physically, if you like. I also think we play our cricket in a slightly different way in that respect as well.”

Asked if Australia’s conduct had tarnished their attempts to rebuild reputations following the ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal five years ago, Root added: “I don’t think it’s really for me to say to be honest. I care about England cricket and this team and what we’re about as a team. We all know how we want to play our cricket and we’ll continue to do it that way.

“There’s always going to be respect there. You’re allowed to disagree on certain things and see the game differently and clearly that is the case on this topic.”

England celebrate victory over Australia at Headingley
England have enjoyed recent Ashes success at Headingley (Mike Egerton/PA)

Yorkshire have said they will be paying particular attention to security arrangements for the match following angry scenes at Lord’s, both in the stands and in the MCC Long Room. Three members were suspended pending an investigation and Root called for his hometown ground to keep their support on the right side of the line.

“Support England, that’s the most important thing. You come to support your nations and it doesn’t need to go beyond that,” he said.

“It should never go beyond that. Everyone should be here to enjoy the cricket on the field. It shouldn’t be about anything other than that. Come here and support your team to the best of your ability, we’ll play to the best of ours.”