Joe Root does not suspect Australia of ball-tampering during Ashes series

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Joe Root says he does not suspect Australia of any ball-tampering during the recent Ashes series. The England captain’s remarks, following his side’s defeat against New Zealand in Auckland on Monday, were made after renewed speculation surfaced following the ball-tampering Australia were involved in during their current Test series against South Africa.

Root reiterated that he was unaware of any foul play during the Ashes. “Not to my knowledge. I personally wasn’t aware of anything going on throughout that series. I have enough to worry about at the moment‚” he said, before acknowledging, “all this is disappointing for Test cricket and for cricket in general.”

Australian captain Steve Smith and his deputy, David Warner, have been stood down following the revelations. Root has always tended to take a different line to Smith over the responsibilities of a captain. During the Ashes series Smith, when challenged about some of the behaviour of his team on the field, would fall back on the line that he had received no complaints from the umpires or the match referee. Therefore the assumption was that all was well.

Root is prepared to accept that the captain has a greater obligation than that to ensure the game is played properly. “As captain you’re responsible for how everyone else behaves. I have to look after my own group and make sure I’m happy with how they conduct themselves. But any international player should know the rules. I should not have to back that up. It’s as simple as that.

“Every time you go out on the field you know there are a load of cameras. You are under the spotlight. It’s important that you give everything and you do everything to win. But in the right way‚” added Root.

In the meantime with the Christchurch Test starting on Friday, Root must address the issues of a lack of consistency among his batsmen and a lack of potency among his bowlers, relatively simple and familiar problems that Smith would love to have right now.(Agencies)

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