England play down Root’s injury concern

Frank Dalleres
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OPENER Joe Root endured an injury scare on his first appearance at the top of the order as England’s batsmen failed to shine in their Ashes warm-up match against Essex yesterday.

Root limped from the crease when he was dismissed for 41 just moments after needing medical attention for a sore knee caused by a stray delivery. England chiefs later played down the blow.

Kevin Pietersen notched 49 on his first England outing since March but the only men to notch half-centuries were Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann, who led the side to 328-7 with an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 119.

Bresnan ended 55 not out and Swann 62 not out, after captain Alastair Cook (18), Jonathan Trott (32), Ian Bell (13), Jonny Bairstow (23) and Matt Prior (20) hit modest totals.

It came as Nick Compton, dropped to make way for Root’s promotion, insisted he still hopes to feature in the Ashes. The Somerset batsman, who will guest for Worcestershire tomorrow against Australia, said: “It’s been a tough week but you have to dust yourself off.”