By Jonny Leighfield
England captain Joe Root says his side will use Australia’s behaviour after winning the first Ashes Test as motivation to turn things around in Adelaide.
Australia Captain Steve Smith was laughing in the post-match news conference as opening batsman Cameron Bancroft recounted being ‘headbutted’ by England’s Jonny Bairstow in a Perth bar back in October.
Root says England must use the Australian players’ attitude as motivation going forward.
“You are disappointed to see a reaction like that in a press conference,” he said.
“If that’s not motivation to the players, I don’t know what is.”
“Knowing the characters in our dressing room, that will really give them a bit of something else to make sure we put things right this week,” said Root.
While Bancroft was recalling his account of the ‘headbutt’, the Australian captain claimed he was simply giggling at the openers deadpan delivery rather than the situation itself.
“I was laughing at Cameron and the way he delivered his version of what happened,” said Smith.
“I’m happy to clarify that with Joe. There’s no problem there.”
Both Bairstow and Bancroft described the incident as without “malice”, but Root and coach Trevor Bayliss had to defend England’s players following the 10-wicket defeat in Brisbane.
The second Test gets underway at 03:30 (GMT) on Saturday in Adelaide.