TOWNSVILLE: England captain Joe Root Tuesday told Australia to "bring it on", vowing to fight fire with fire as his team expect a hostile reception at next week's first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Root said he was unfazed by talk that Australia would target him as he prepared for the first of five Ashes Tests at the Gabba and said his side will be hitting back hard.
"From our point of view, we'll be targeting every single one of them (the Australians)," the 26-year-old told reporters ahead of a second four-day warm-up match against the Cricket Australia XI in Townsville.
"Bring it on. It's what it's about. You want that competitive element to it and there are little in-house rivalries if you like.
"It should be a great series and they've got some great players within their squad and some good characters as well... They've got a lot of quality in their attack but we've got a lot of quality in our team as well."
Root said he expected a "hostile... very loud and rowdy atmosphere" in Brisbane, but said England were working hard to be "absolutely ready" for the first game.
One key concern is a lack of big runs for England's top order in the warm-up games so far, with no batsman going on to score a century despite most getting good starts, and a lack of runs for former captain Alastair Cook.
"I still think that this game, that's one of the things we really want to get out of it, is guys going on and making big hundreds," Root said.
"If we get the opportunity to do that, that's definitely the mentality we'll have as a batting side and that's something we're going to have to have throughout the five... Test matches.
"Some would say you don't want to peak too early and get too many big runs early in these warm-up games but ultimately getting good habits is always a good thing so that's the way we have to approach it."