Joe Root was praised for his bravery and determination in leading England’s attempts to save a second Ashes Test draw, but bowling coach Jon Lewis admitted his firing at the last breath was a huge setback.
Captain Root had a horrible day of duty in Adelaide, starting with a trip to a local hospital after receiving a blow to the groin during warm-ups and ending when he cut off the final delivery of the day to leave the ‘Australia in full control.
With tourists on 82 for fours and 386 behind, there doesn’t seem to be a way out, but Ben Stokes’ presence in the fold at least evokes happier memories of implausible rescue missions.
Root’s pride won’t be the only thing that will be bruised, his late sacking coming shortly after being struck in the box at 85 mph by Mitchell Starc, worsening his previous injury in the worst way imaginable and leaving him doubled over. agony for several minutes.
It was a darkly comedic chain of events given the importance of this series to Root’s harbor master’s office and Lewis was in awe of the way he was committed to dealing with the pace and hostility of Starc despite his obvious physical discomfort.
“There was no doubt in Joe’s mind that he was at bat, he’s the England captain,” Lewis said.
“He wanted to go to bat, to show people how great a player he is and what a great leader. It’s painful, he was hit there this morning, had to go to the hospital for a CT scan and was not in great shape.
“But Joe is a strong leader, he showed a lot of character to come out and fight because I know he was in pain enough. When he was hit again, he could easily have walked away and brought in a night watchman.
“But stay outside? This is the character of the man and what it means for him to be captain of England. He wants to show how badly he wants to fight and how ready he is to fight to get back into the game.
Amid those warm words, there was also room for regret, with the realization that his late outer edge just four balls before the stumps could have settled the result.
“Every time one of your best players comes out, the team takes a little hit. It’s a really big demand, but we’re going to put in the effort and fight,” said Lewis.
“What you have to understand and believe is that the rest of the guys will fight as hard as Joe would to survive the game and get away with a draw.
“We’ve seen it before from Ben, who did some really special things in an English shirt.
“I know he’s like Joe and he’ll fight as hard as he can. The boys are a bit short right now, but we have another chance to show what we can do. “