Fairytale Of New York The Pogues
22 November 2017, 10:15
Joe Root is proud of how his players are dealing with the "external noise" in Australia and feels relaxed ahead of his first Ashes series as England captain.
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon made some contentious remarks in the build-up to Thursday's first Test in Brisbane, expressing that Australia are looking to "end the careers" of some of the tourists.
But Root believes that such talk is not affecting his side.
"In terms of our preparation, we've gone about it in a really good way," he said.
"The external noise we've dealt exceptionally well with and I'm proud of the lads of how they've gone about things.
"Of course we're going to get a good atmosphere in the ground and there might be a bit of noise from the crowd but I see us as ready to go."
This will be Root's first away Test series as England captain and on his only tour of Australia he was dropped for the final Test of the 2013/14 series.
The 26-year-old said: "I'm actually surprising myself at how calm I am. I'm sure tomorrow morning there'll be a few little nerves flying around but that's only a good thing, and only natural.
"I've got full confidence in this group of players which is why I feel so relaxed going into it."
The first Ashes Test takes place at the Gabba where Australia have lost just eight of 59 Tests since first playing there in 1931.
Their last Test defeat in Brisbane came 29 years ago while England's last victory there was in 1986, and Root feels an England win could be key to a successful series.
He said: "We're about due a win here, aren't we?
"It's the reason why Australia play the first Test of a series here all of the time because they've got such a good record here. But if we can go one up then it really upsets the apple cart and it could give us a lot of momentum going into it.
"Of course we're aware of that history but every series is different and we can't play this game on what happened in the past, we've got to make sure we read the situation quickly out in the middle, play the surface and control our emotions, and if we do that then we'll give ourselves a really good chance."