The Roar
The Roar



UK View: 'This is more like it' England press dare to dream as Joe Root awakens from his slumber

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
10th December, 2021

What a difference a day makes! Joe Root and Dawid Malan have restored English pride after being hammered and humiliated by Australia and may escape the Gabba with a draw – or even force a sensational victory, the UK press trumpets.

England fought back on day three with skipper Root and Malan in a momentum-switching unbroken 159-run stand, to give the tourists renewed hope after trailing by a crushing 278-runs on the first innings.

“This was more like it. Facing a first-innings deficit of 278 – and nothing short of ridicule – England restored some pride on the third day of the first Test at the Gabba as Joe Root joined forces with Dawid Malan to keep Australia at bay,” beamed Lawrence Booth in the Daily Mail.

“Joe Root has now scored more Test runs in a calendar year than any other England batsman, reaching stumps on 86 to take his tally for 2021 to 1,541 at an average of 67.”
John Etheridge, writing in The Sun, said: “England spent two days being hammered and humiliated but now they were believing they could escape with a draw – or maybe even force a sensational victory.

“Captain Root, who was out for a duck in England’s miserable first innings total of 147 all out, batted brilliantly and continued his remarkable form of 2021.
“The longer they batted, the fewer alarms Malan and Root experienced.”

The mood within the travelling English press pack has brightened considerably after the opening two demoralising days for Root’s team.
“There was a lesser spotted sight at the Gabba on Friday: a smiling Englishman. Joe Root looked back to his usual self with the elixir of runs doing wonders for his demeanour,” wrote Nick Hoult in The Telegraph.


“The gloom lifted around Root after two miserable days as he and Malan passed fifties and halted Australia’s momentum in the first Test, proving England are here to compete.”
Former England captain Nasser Hussain said Root was at the top of his game.

“Root made those changes to his technique after getting stuck at the crease in the last Ashes against Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and in the last year he gets as much rhythm from his hands and back-lift as he does from his feet. It gets him in better positions to play the ball,” Hussain analysed in The Daily Mail..

Joe Root and Dawid Malan.

Joe Root and Dawid Malan leave the field after Day 3 of the first Ashes Test. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“The first innings was a rare example these days of Root playing out in front of himself and it led to him nicking off to Hazlewood for a duck. Usually, now he plays the ball so late almost from underneath himself.”

Oliver Brown, in the Telegraph, said a first Test century in Australia would correct one of the most conspicuous omissions on Root’s CV.

“But these runs also demonstrated that, even after a first-innings duck and a savage inquisition into his leadership skills, he should seldom be underestimated,” he said.
“After all, here is a player piecing together one of the most prolific calendar years on record. In just 13 Tests, he has amassed 1,541 Test runs, more than 500 clear of nearest rival Rohit Sharma.

“With two more matches still in his sights in 2021, Root has abundant chances to overhaul the all-time record of 1,788, set by Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf in 2006. Root’s abiding preoccupation, though, is to be the man who masterminds Ashes glory.”

The BBC’s Stephan Shemilt said: “After being mauled for the first part of this match, day three belonged to England, even if it is still too early to think about matching the famous escape they managed at the Gabba in 2010.


“Still, if they do go on to lose this match, the fact their batters have shown they can compete should boost the tourists for the rest of the series.

“If England are beaten, it will be because of their first-innings batting. An Australia win is still the favourite, but not as certain as it once was.”

Mike Atherton, in The Times, recalled a decade ago, when England also trailed by more than 200 on first innings at the Gabba, before batting themselves into a position of dominance, and rendering Australia’s attack utterly impotent.

“It was too much to expect a repeat — within 21 overs more wickets had fallen than in that famous innings — but there were echoes of the same spirit, character and resilience during a magnificent third-wicket partnership between Joe Root and Dawid Malan — one that has already transformed perceptions,” the former England captain opined.

Ali Martin, said in The Guardian, said: “Two days of one-way traffic on Vulture Street had threatened to derail England’s Ashes campaign from the outset but through a resumption of Joe Root’s remarkable form in 2021, and Dawid Malan’s penchant for Australian conditions, an impressive fightback was marshalled on the third.

“By stumps it felt like their tour had finally begun in earnest. England appeared to need snookers when 147 proved their maximum on day one but through the pair’s unbroken stand the gloom had lifted.

“More importantly, however much Australia remained favourites to take a 1-0 lead, the pair had delivered an important reminder to others that life does get easier once the Kookaburra ball goes soft and the heat kicks in. If Lyon can be successfully milked, the pressure on the seamers increases.”