Joe Root told Australia to "bring it on" as the hosts look set to target the England captain and star batsman during the upcoming Ashes series. Anticipation is building for the blockbuster five-match Test series, which is scheduled to get underway in Brisbane on November 23, and Australia have set their sights on Root.
Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon said every Australian bowler will target touring skipper Root, who has amassed 13 hundreds and 32 half-centuries in 60 Test matches.However Root, 26, is unfazed and braced for whatever the Australians throw at him."I've heard a lot of chat about them targeting me in particular," Root told reporters on Tuesday. "Bring it on. it's what it's about. You want that competitive element and there are little in-house rivalries.
"It should be a great series and they've got some great players within their squads and some good characters which will make for a great Test."
A more pressing issue for Root is the form of England's batsmen heading into the Gabba clash. No England batsman has scored a century in their warm-up matches with the final tour game against a Cricket Australia XI to start on Wednesday.
Root, who has posted totals of 58, 1 and 9 in three innings in Australia, is desperate for runs. "That's one of the things we really want to get out of this game - guys going on and making big hundreds," said Root. "If we get the opportunity to do that, that's definitely the mentality of the batting side and that's something we have to have throughout the five Test matches."
"Some would say you don't want to peak too early and get too many runs in these warm-up games. But ultimately getting runs and good habits here and getting in good habits is the way we have to approach it" added the England test Captain.