11192017

England ‘a different side’ from 2013-14 Ashes whitewash

Joe Root

Joe Root was dropped for the final Test of the 2013-14 Ashes series

Captain Joe Root says England’s 5-0 whitewash by Australia on their previous Ashes tour will have no bearing on this series.

Six of England’s current squad were involved in 2013-14 and Australia captain Steve Smith has said he wants to “open a few of those scars up”.

“We’re a completely different side and so are they,” said 26-year-old Root.

Moeen Ali and Steven Finn will miss England’s first two tour matches with side and knee injuries respectively.

England begin their opening two-day tour game against a Western Australia XI in Perth on Saturday (02:30 GMT).

They also play two four-day warm-up matches against a Cricket Australia XI before the first Test in Brisbane starts on 23 November.

Root, Alastair Cook, Jonny Bairstow, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Finn toured Australia four years ago, when England suffered arguably their worst Ashes defeat in history.

Jonathan Trott returned home early with a stress-related illness, Graeme Swann retired mid-tour, Kevin Pietersen did not play for England again and Andy Flower stepped down as team director after the tour.

Smith told ESPN Cricinfo: “A few players were out here for that tour, and hopefully we can get them thinking the same way, open a few of those scars up as such, get them thinking ‘oh not this again’.”

Root said: “There’s been a lot of talk about last time. Of course, they’ll try to bring up all sorts of stuff like that.

“We’ve obviously played a lot of cricket since then and have played Australia as well and that went quite well for us,” added Root, whose side hold the Ashes after their 3-2 win on home soil in 2015.

Root says he expects to name a vice-captain next week, with Ben Stokes not part of the squad following his arrest in September after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub.

Moeen & Finn sidelined

England's Moeen Ali<!–

Moeen Ali averages almost 35 with the bat and 37 with the ball in 44 Tests

Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen, 30, and pace bowler Finn, 28, had scans on their injuries and missed training on Friday.

Moeen, a key figure in England’s middle order, has aggravated his left side, but he is expected to return to training before England’s final warm-up match in Townsville starts on 15 November.

Finn, who was added to the squad after England said Stokes would not travel following his arrest, jarred his left knee during training in Perth on Thursday.

He will be monitored by England medical staff over the next week and “a further decision on his fitness will be made at that time”.

England will use 13 players in the match at the Waca, with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes the other member of the 16-man squad not to feature.

England must still experience Australia – Root

England coach Trevor Bayliss has said players have agreed “sensible” rules for drinking during the tour.

Following the Stokes incident, former captain Michael Vaughan said the culture within the team must “change quickly”.

“What happened in the summer was not acceptable,” Root told BBC Sport.

“We’ve got make sure we that we don’t move too far the other way and sit in our rooms and not experience being in Australia.

“It’s not about going out and getting drunk. It’s about making sure we’re in the best possible place to win an Ashes tour.”

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