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Joe Root holds clear-the-air talks with England squad ahead of Second Test against South Africa after tricky period

JOE ROOT believes an emotional, clear-the-air team meeting will kick-start England to success in their first match of the new decade.

Captain Root is not normally one for rousing Churchill-style speeches but he has spoken his mind to try to prevent the South Africa series slipping away.

Joe Root held clear-the-air talks with his England squad ahead of the Second Test against South Africa

The need for a turnaround becomes more tricky following injuries to Rory Burns and Jofra Archer – Englands highest scorer and top wicket-taker in the First Test defeat.

The twin injuries are the latest blow to what Ben Stokes says some players are already calling the cursed tour.

Root revealed he led a frank appraisal of Englands 107-run loss at Centurion and demanded mistakes must not be repeated in the Second Test starting today.

Root and head coach Chris Silverwood – who has yet to win any of his three Tests in charge – know another defeat at the iconic Newlands ground is unthinkable.

But, with Burns and Archer almost certainly out, the tour continues to take ominous turns with illness, injury and defeat striking brutal blows.

Root said: We spoke quite honestly after the First Test and its sometimes nice when theres a bit of emotion involved.

It was important to get the message across that, although weve showed a huge amount of character on a number of occasions in the last year when our backs were against the wall, its important to do it in the first innings. We mustnt wait until were on the back foot.

The big challenge this week is to make it count if we get into a good position, not let it slip and have to scrap back into the game.

When were under pressure, players must take the chance to stamp their authority individually and as a team.

Root added: Speaking honestly, getting things out in the open and giving us real clarity about how we want to approach this week is important. I think it was a really good moment for the team.

Myself and Chris Silverwood led the chat but it was great to hear the rest of the group get involved. Thats what its about – eleven guys should all feel like they can voice their opinion.

I think its a testament to where we are as a group and how the culture of this team has evolved over the last couple of years.

As captain, you have to pick your moments. It wasnt like a grilling, it wasnt like Alex Fergusons hairdryer.

“It was a good conversation. I think its important to address certain areas and also compliment when guys have done well.

Roots desire to see passion and emotion means he was delighted by the on-field spat between Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad during a drink breaks on day three when South Africa were plundering runs.

Root and head coach Chris Silverwood know another defeat at the iconic Newlands ground is unthinkable

Root insisted: That was great, wasnt it? Thats two guys who are really passionate about playing for England having a good, honest confrontation on the field.

I think sometimes thats a good thing to see. It shows people really care. No-one was slating one another, they were just passionately voicing their opinions and trying to make sure everyone was right on it.

Kents Zak Crawley is likely to play if Burns is ruled out with Somerset spinner Dom Bess coming in for Archer and Ollie Pope replacing the out-of-form Jonny Bairstow.

South African captain Faf du Plessis insisted there should be no issues over the teams quota system even though fit-again batsman Temba Bavuma will be omitted.

Bavuma, who scored his maiden Test century against England in Cape Town four years ago, remains sidelined with Rassie van der Dussen playing his second Test.

The Proteas are meant to field a minimum of two black Africans and four other non-white players but will fail to do so for the second Test runnings.

Du Plessis said: Opportunity is important for players of any colour and we must give every player a chance.

Root revealed he led a frank appraisal of Englands 107-run loss at Centurion and demanded mistakes must not be repeated