London: Upcoming England batsman Joe Root has been warned to expect a fiery attack by the New Zealand side in the middle as they look to ruin his first homecoming at Headingley.
Although Root is out to etch his name into Yorkshire cricketing folklore on his debut Test, however, Kiwi pace bowler Neil Wagner is of the opinion that all the adulation and familiarity of home could backfire on the youngster since he will be so desperate to do well.
Stating that it is yet to be seen whether Root can come out of the starry-eyed hopes of playing in his home ground and focus on business, Wagner said that although the batsman is young and a top-class performer, the fact that he will be playing at Headingley which was his dream for a long time will definitely prey on the back of his mind.
According to Wagner, although such a factor can motivate a player to do better, however, the pressure and the expectations sometimes come to the forefront and adversely affect his performance, adding that as a bowling unit, the New Zealand pacers will try to get under his skin to make him stumble and lose points.
However, Root seemed confident about making a good performance at Headingley, saying that it is home ground, adding that the opportunity to play, especially in an international game, is something that spurs him on to make his childhood dream a reality.
Stating that he had grown up watching cricket at Headingley, Root said that he has got close connections to the place, adding that he is trying to move in the footsteps of great players like Darren Lehmann, Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph, whom he had often watched playing at the place in county matches.
Root also said that watching Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar playing for county matches from the Yorkshire side first inspired him to wish that one day he be out in the middle and not in the stands.