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Calm before the storm.

Byline: Rory Dollard Sports Correspondent sport@examiner.co.uk

room, keeping everyone calm, keeping everyone focused on the task and keeping it very nice and simple.

"Sometimes that's exactly what you need at the top level, to just remember all the basics of the game and just to put it all down a bit."

Only three of England's squad were on duty the last time they faced the Proteas in their own back yard - captain Alastair Cook and seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad - but Root is full of enthusiasm.

"It's obviously exciting because for a lot of the guys this will be their first tour of South Africa," he added.

"Playing the number one side in their own conditions, when they've got a fantastic bowling attack, you have to make sure you do all the work in practice to try to make sure you're performing at your best come that first Test match."

England begin the first of two threeday warm-ups tomorrow, taking on a youthful South Africa Invitational XI.

ENGLAND batsman Joe Root believes the calm temperament of coach Trevor Bayliss can serve the side well as they plot the downfall of the world's number one Test side.

Bayliss, a phlegmatic Australian, claimed Ashes victory over his compatriots last summer in his first series at the helm but suffered a 2-0 setback against Pakistan in the first part of the winter.

His demeanour hardly changed in success or defeat and his unobtrusive style has been welcomed by the squad.

South Africa top the ICC rankings despite their own 3-0 loss in India and will prove formidable opponents on home turf during the next four Tests.

Root knows to expect a serious challenge but is positive about life under Bayliss.

"He's been great. He's been a very calming influence around the side," the vice-captain said.

"I think in an Ashes series, it can get quite tense and emotions can run high and he's been very good at controlling that within the dressing

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 14, 2015
Words:333
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