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England captain Joe Root provides updates on James Anderson and Moeen Ali, clarifies Jonny Bairstow ‘headbutt’

Joe Root provides Anderson and Moeen injury updates, clarifies Bairstow ‘headbutt’
Joe Root’s England suffered defeat in the first Ashes Test in Australia (Picture: Getty)

England captain Joe Root has allayed fears James Anderson and Moeen Ali are injury doubts for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

Seam bowler Anderson appeared in discomfort throughout the opening encounter at the Gabba, where Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series.

Moeen, meanwhile, suffered a cut to the index finger on his bowling hand and was limited to just four overs in the final innings of the match.

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‘Jimmy bowled a good amount of overs, he wouldn’t have been able to do that if he wasn’t fit,’ Root said after England’s ten-wicket defeat.

‘He took a blow [while batting], it’s never easy or comfortable but he’ll be absolutely fine for next week.

Joe Root provides Anderson and Moeen injury updates, clarifies Bairstow ‘headbutt’
There were fears James Anderson had suffered a side injury (Picture: Getty)
Joe Root provides Anderson and Moeen injury updates, clarifies Bairstow ‘headbutt’
Moeen Ali endured a difficult match with the ball (Picture: Getty)

‘Moeen has been a bit uncomfortable with it all game but hopefully it clears up quickly and he will be fine for the next game.’

Fox News broke the news on Sunday that Jonny Bairstow had been involved in an incident with Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft during a night out in Perth earlier in the month.

The wicketkeeper is alleged to have ‘headbutted’ the Aussie but Root says it was not ‘malicious’ and that a big deal has been made of something ‘very small’.

‘I think a big deal has been made of something very small,’ Root said. ‘There wasn’t much malicious intent there.’

Head coach Trevor Bayliss, meanwhile, said: ‘As far as I understand it was blown out of proportion. Just a small incident, no malice involved or intended.

Joe Root provides Anderson and Moeen injury updates, clarifies Bairstow ‘headbutt’
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow with Australian Cameron Bancroft (Picture: Getty)

‘But it gives the chance for the Australian team to bring it up on the field and make him feel uncomfortable and that’s disappointing, we’ve got to be better than that.

‘It was the first night we were here apparently, we didn’t have a curfew that night. We’ve got specific nights where the guys can go out and be back by midnight.

“A lot has been made out of nothing…”

Joe Root speaks to @AlisonMitchell about the Jonny Bairstow allegations. pic.twitter.com/eqc2YuV7pb

— The Ashes on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) November 27, 2017

‘There will be another stern talking to because it’s disappointing something like this comes up after Bristol [where Ben Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm].

‘From his point of view there was no malice in it. There was an understanding, it was just an opportunity for the Australians to have a few sly digs and make people feel uncomfortable. We shouldn’t put ourselves in that situation.’

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Root was left to rue his side failing to take advantage of periods of dominance in Brisbane and insisted England needed to make the most of their opportunities to compete with Steve Smith’s side.

‘We needed to go on [in the first innings] and really make it count,’ Root added. ‘For a lot of the game we played some excellent cricket, at times we were on top, but we need to take our opportunities.’

MORE: Kevin Pietersen slams James Anderson and Jake Ball after Australia thump England in Brisbane

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