WELLINGTON – England captain Joe Root is under no illusions about his batting slump and recognises if his side are going to win the second match in Hamilton and level the two-test series against New Zealand then he needs to make a substantial contribution.
Root's side were hammered by an innings and 65 runs in the first test in Mt. Maunganui when New Zealand, anchored by BJ Watling's marathon 11-hour maiden test double century of 205, scored a mammoth 615-9 declared.
England were bowled out for 353 and then 197 with Root contributing scores of two and 11 at Bay Oval, his worst return in a test since he took over the captaincy in early 2017, and fifth-worst in his entire 87-match career.
"I'm not far away," Root told British media in Hamilton on Thursday of his form. "I played two horrendous shots in the last game (but) the fact I'm getting myself out, you can deal with that."
The worrying thing for Root and new coach Chris Silverwood, who will leave the tour on Saturday after a family bereavement, is that Root has been on a downward track since he succeeded Alastair Cook as skipper almost three years ago.