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Root sees value in further battle

Joe Root spoke at the close of play following his impressive 87 at the Adelaide Oval

Joe Root believes the final day of the second Test could prove crucial in the context of the overall Ashes series.

England showed admirable fight in the face of a stiff challenge today, ending on 247 for six having been tasked with batting for two days to save the game.

Of course, Australia remain heavy favourites to move 2-0 ahead in the rubber with three matches to play.

Yet Root thinks there is plenty to be gained from another day of valiant battling tomorrow.

He told ecb.co.uk: “We pride ourselves on showing fight and we’ve been very disappointed with the way that we’ve played so far as a batting unit.

“We’re going to have to keep improving, take as much from this innings as possible and front up for the rest of this game and Perth as well.”

It is Matt Prior and Stuart Broad that will resume tomorrow – and they should draw inspiration from their young team-mate.

Indeed, Root showed great heart today, repelling Mitchell Johnson et al to strike 87 having walked to the crease in the second over following Australia’s declaration on their overnight 132 for three, which left England requiring a notional 531.

The Yorkshireman, batting at number three for the first time in Tests, looked back with some regret, however.

“I did enjoy it out there,” added Root. “I was obviously very disappointed to have to drag myself off but it was a good challenge and we’re going to have to keep scrapping hard into tomorrow.

“The most disappointing thing is to leave the bowlers to do the work. I wanted to be out there at the end of the day’s play regardless of my own individual score.”

It was Root’s duel with Johnson that caught the eye, in particular.

“It’s great,” he admitted. “I am not sure how he feels about it but I enjoy Test cricket, getting in those little confrontations and trying to make sure I come out on top.”

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