Root - England need to capitalise on Smith absence
Captain Joe Root knows England must take advantage of the absence of Steve Smith during the third Ashes Test against Australia.
The match at Headingley is due to get underway on Thursday and England have work to do, as they are currently 1-0 down in the series after following up a defeat at Edgbaston in the first Test, with a hard-fought draw at Lord's last week.
Former Australia captain Smith is currently the leading run-scorer in the series with 378, but he has been ruled out of the third Test due to concussion after he was hit by a delivery from England paceman Jofra Archer at Lord's.
Smith scored 144 and 142 during the first Test and he added 92 during last week's draw after originally being cleared to return to the field.
However, delayed concussion meant Smith did not feature during Australia's second innings at Lord's, with Marnus Labuschagne taking his place, and he will now also sit out the match in West Yorkshire.
The 30-year-old's enforced absence is certainly a boost to England's chances and Root admits his side must take advantage during the Headingley Test.
"It is a huge hole," said Root. "You look at the runs he has scored and if you take them out it looks completely different and we could be sat here 2-0 up.
"He is obviously a big focal part of their team and we have got to try and capitalise on this opportunity."
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.