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England Captain Joe Root hoping for Series Sweep against New Zealand and India ahead of Ashes
Joe Root believes there will be no better way for England to prepare to regain the Ashes in Australia later this year than by completing a home clean sweep of New Zealand and India.
The England captain will lead his side in the first of a two-match series against New Zealand at Lord’s on Wednesday, with five more Tests against India before the English season is finished.
India, top of the Test rankings, and second-placed New Zealand will contest the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton, southern England, later this month.
England, and many of their supporters, have long given the impression that matches against arch-rivals Australia are the only Tests that really count, with everything else a ‘warm-up’.
But such a viewpoint was labeled “limited, narrow and delusional” by former England captain Mike Atherton in The Times on Tuesday.
Root, however, saw no conflict between England’s short and long-term goals.
“There’s going to be constant conversations about Australia throughout this summer,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“There’s no getting away from that. We’ve said for a long time now we’re planning towards that series. As an English fan, as an English player, it is such an iconic series and one that holds so much weight.