PAKISTAN TOUR OF ENGLAND, 2020 by Rob Johnston • Published on ShareTweet Can Azhar Ali and Joe Root shift the focus away from them with some runs under their belt in Southampton? © AFP Expectation and scrutiny are constant bedfellows for Test cricketers. Earlier this week, Dom Sibley said he was surprised at seeing negative comments over the way he played, and in particular the speed he scored, during his hundred in the second Test against West Indies last month. Surely scoring runs was enough to have a day off from all that? Azhar Ali and Joe Root, opposing captains in this series, are long enough in the tooth to know that the scrutiny never goes away at Test level. Indeed, there has been plenty on both players of late. Root has led his team to victory in his last six Tests – he missed the defeat to West Indies at Ageas Bowl on paternity leave – but that has not reduced the focus on his output with the bat. He is averaging 37.20 for the summer and averaged less than 40 in 2019, the first time his calendar year average had dipped below that mark since 2013. His returns… Read full this story
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