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Joe Root takes comfort in anonymity while England get down to business

The England captain is content to be focusing on cricket again as his underdogs turn up the intensity before their opening first-class tour fixture in Adelaide

The relief on Joe Root’s face was palpable. He had made it through a press engagement in the buildup to England’s opening game where the topic of conversation had been cricket, actual cricket, and there had been no BS.

Ben Stokes, from the moment England landed last Sunday, had dominated the agenda and it is easy to understand how the captain had tired of discussing his friend, especially given the outcome of all this is out of his hands and remit. He would have spoken about little else in private too: England had been drawing up new codes of conduct for their extracurricular activities and, of course, trying to find the formula to replace the focal point on the field as well.

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