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Broad backs Root to reach ´another level´ during Ashes

16 November 2017 23:58

England paceman Stuart Broad labelled Joe Root the best he has played with and backed his captain to reach "another level" during the Ashes.

Root, 26, shapes as being crucial if England are to retain the urn when the series begins in Brisbane next Thursday.

The star batsman's one and only previous Ashes trip to Australia saw him average just 27.42 before he was dropped for the final Test of England's 5-0 series loss in 2013-14.

Broad believes that will inspire Root, who has averaged almost 60 in Tests since that debacle, to produce his best in the upcoming series.

"He is the best player I have played with. He is the most natural mover, the rhythm of his batting is just wonderful to watch and Australian pitches are made for him," Broad told Omnisport.

"Let's not forget the last time he went there he ended up getting dropped for the last game.

"Very rarely does a top-flight sportsman go through a career without a slightly low moment that kicks them off to another level. That was Joe's low moment in Australia and I think this tour is where he kicks off to another level again."

With both teams facing huge question marks over their batting, Broad believes the two best in each side – Australia's Steve Smith and David Warner, and England's Alastair Cook and Root – could play decisive roles.

The 31-year-old expects the hosts to target Root, but backed the Yorkshireman to answer the challenge.

"Probably the four key batsmen in the series are Cook, Root, Warner and Smith from both sides – very consistent performers and both bowling units will be looking at those guys as big wickets," Broad said.

"There were questions when Joe took over the captaincy, [people asking] 'is it the right decision because we don't want to lose his runs?'

"But he gets 180 in his first game. That's the kind of guy he is, he loves the responsibility, top-flight performers do.

"The Aussies will target him, yes. Is he good enough to withstand this? Of course."

 

Stuart Broad, an ambassador for The Belfry Hotel & Resort, was speaking at its PGA Golf Academy, where he was being custom-fitted for a new driver ahead of his trip to the Ashes.

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