Root demands concentration in series finale against Pakistan

England captain believes only way to turn around opinions is by performing better on the field

Root demands concentration in series finale against Pakistan PHOTO: REUTERS

England need to prove their critics wrong following the crushing defeat to Pakistan in the opening Test at Lord's last week by targeting a quick turnaround to salvage a draw in the two-match series, capain Joe Root said.

The hosts were thrashed by nine wickets inside four days last weekend and Root's side go into the second Test at Headingley starting on Friday with their backs against the wall.

"People have some strong opinions on where we are right now. All we can do is concentrate on performing well... if we perform well those opinions might change," Root told British media.

The last time England lost the first Test in a home summer was in 1995 against West Indies.

"When you play at the top level, if you don't play well you come in for criticism. You have to not get too down about it," Root, who admitted that an inexperienced touring side had completely outplayed England, added. "You make sure that when you next get the opportunity to turn that round and put it right, you go out there and take it."

All-rounder Ben Stokes sustained a hamstring strain during fielding practice this week and faces a late fitness test to be ready for the match. Uncapped Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran has been drafted in to the squad as cover.

"We will look at the nature of the injury and discuss all options," Root added. "It might be that he's absolutely fine and he can do everything and we're in the same position we were at the start of the week."