Spare a thought for Joe Root – if you can.
The batter led by example on day four when he returned to the field of play after an injury scare during the team’s warm up.
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Root copped a shot to the nether region without wearing a protective box and was sent for scans by the team’s medical staff.
He entered the match eighteen overs into the day’s play after he was cleared of serious injury but it was obvious he was still struggling with the problem, although that didn’t stop him from picking up the ball and taking two wickets and courageously taking to the crease with the bat.
Unfortunately, the noble move backfired for the skipper, and he copped another shot to the groin off Mitchell Starc’s bowling. He was in such pain, play was halted as Root inspected the injured region.
As you’d expect Australian players in the field couldn’t help but sledge Root over his peculiar problem.
“Maybe a pack of frozen peas on it?” one said. “You can use the whole frozen veg section on it maybe?” another yelled.
To put an exclamation mark on his day, Root was then caught behind on the final ball by another Starc delivery as England fell to 4-82.
“I haven’t spoken to him since he’s come off the field. Obviously people get hit there and it’s pretty painful,” England fast bowling coach Jon Lewis said.
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“He got hit there in the nets so he wasn’t in great shape, so to get another one there was unfortunate for him. I’m sure he’ll be okay in the long run.”
The bowling coach praised Root’s courage for returning to play and having an impact for his team.
“Joe’s a strong leader in the group and he showed a hell of a lot of character to get out there and fight because I know he was pretty sore” he said.
“Once he got hit there he could have easily walked off and a nightwatchman come out but it shows the character of the man and what it means to him to be England captain.
“He wants to show the team how to fight hard and how to get back into the game.
“Any time one of the best players gets out the team takes a knock but you have to understand and believe that the rest of the guys fight as hard as he would and will try their best to survive tomorrow.”
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