England batting mainstay Joe Root has dismissed “trash talk” by Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz who claimed he has got the batsman’s number going into the first test at Lord’s starting on Thursday.
Root will return to the crucial number three position in the batting line-up against Pakistan and Wahab has already turned the heat on him, claiming the visitors have plans ready for the 25-year-old.
“I heard about that. It’s the same before every series, you generally get a bit of trash talk,” Root told reporters.
“It’s getting a bit like boxing now. He is a fantastic bowler. Good pace, gets the ball to reverse swing, so it will be interesting to see how that goes throughout the series.”
Root has excelled at number four and five and the right-hander is now keen to justify his promotion to top three.
“I’ve matured quite a lot as a player and my game has developed a lot,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how it goes.”
Wahab reiterated Pakistan’s plans to unsettle Root in Tuesday’s news conference.
“You want me to tell you the plans? Every batsman has a strong point and a weak point and obviously you have to work hard on that and practise hard on that,” said the 31-year-old left-arm paceman.
“Joe Root is the backbone of the England team and getting him out early will put the pressure on England. If he thinks it is just trash talk then hats off to him.”