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Joe Root has defended Trevor Bayliss after speculation that the England coach could be sacked if England lose again in Leeds.

Were England to lose in Headingley, it would be their third series loss in a row and their seventh defeat in 10 Tests. They would also slip to No. 7 in the ICC’s Test rankings.

And while it seems unlikely Bayliss would be removed from his position as limited-overs coach – England are rated No. 1 in the world in ODI cricket, after all, and reached the final of the more recent World T20 tournament – it is possible he would be replaced as Test coach if Pakistan prevail in the second Test.

But Root, the England captain, insisted such change would be a “knee-jerk reaction” and instead suggested it was his team who should take responsibility for playing “below par these last six months”.

“I love working with Trev,” Root said. “I think he does some really great things for this team.

“As Jimmy Anderson said yesterday, he can’t do it for us on the field. Ultimately we need to play better. We’ve been below par these last six months.

“I don’t see why there’s a need for a change. I think it’s the easy thing to have a knee-jerk reaction and change everything.”

Although Root accepted the England dressing room was “low on confidence” and the potential loss of Ben Stokes through injury was far from ideal, he said there was no place for self pity and urged his side to see the game as an opportunity to put things right.

“We’re low on confidence after a difficult winter,” Root said. “But there’s no place for “poor-mes” in international sport. We have some very talented players across all departments. It gives opportunities when someone misses out.

“The approach is to go out there and put it right. And maybe prove a point to certain people. That can be a driver. I’m looking forward to getting out there straight away and hopefully turning things round.

“There’s always noise. When you’re playing well you can lull yourself into thinking you’re playing better than you are. It can be the same the other way round. I’ve been consistent for a while and not kicked on. The same challenges are there for me.

“Mentally, I’m really up for that challenge and that fight. Whether that be the captaincy or my batting. I’m really looking forward to this week and I’m glad it’s come about so soon. Now it’s just going and doing it.”

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