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England skipper Joe Root insists his side will not fall victim to the intimidatory tactics of Australia as preparations for their Ashes bid continue with this week’s final warm-up clash.
Root has also moved to shrug off boasts from the Australia camp that he is their prize wicket and believes the scars from England’s whitewash Down Under in 2013-14 has made his battalion a tougher proposition.
“There’s always talk,” said Root. “Last time that caught us out, and I think we are a bit wiser this time. It’s making sure we are absolutely prepared for any scenario out there, and absolutely ready for that first game, whatever they do throw at us.
“We expect it to be hostile, we expect it to be a very loud and rowdy atmosphere at The Gabba. Hopefully we are ready for that, because I think we have got our heads around what to expect. I’ve heard a lot of chat about targeting me in particular. From our point of view, we’ll be targeting every single one of them.”
England have given the clearest indication yet that uncapped seamer Craig Overton is likely to start the first Test, which begins on 23 November, after he was selected in the side to face a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville from Wednesday.