Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 16 (ANI): England skipper Joe Root said that they are still very much alive in the series as he looks forward to the third Test against India.
India levelled the four-match Test series 1-1 against England after an emphatic 317-run win in the second Test here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.
Indian bowlers produced a sublime performance on day four as England only managed to score 164 runs in their second innings. Axar Patel, who made his Test debut in the match, picked a five-wicket haul during England’s second innings while Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav scalped three and two wickets respectively.
“One thing our batters need to learn is how well they (India) managed to rotate strikes. We are looking at the areas that we can improve on. We are looking forward as a team and we won’t be getting too hard on ourselves after this week. We are very much in the series and we played three brilliant games coming into this game. So, as long as we stay level and keep working hard, we are very much alive in the series,” Root said in the post-match press conference.
On the second day of the second Test, former England skipper Michael Vaughan had criticised the pitch saying that it is not a wicket for the five-day match. “It’s entertaining cricket as things are happening all the time but let’s be honest this Pitch is a shocker .. Not making any excuses as India have been better but this isn’t a Test Match 5 day prepared Pitch … #INDvENG,” he had tweeted.
When asked about the pitch, Root said it was a challenging wicket but India showed that players can score runs on that.
“It was a challenging wicket and I do think that the toss was an important one to win but it would not have had guaranteed the win. The fact is that India have shown that you can score runs on that. So, we have got to learn from that,” Root said.
Also, all-rounder Moeen Ali, who played a brilliantly in the second Test, will return home for a break as England named a 17-strong squad for the third Test against India on Tuesday. Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood join the squad having been rested for the first two Tests. The third Test will begin from February 24 and it will be a day-night affair in Ahmedabad.
Last month, Moeen had tested positive for coronavirus during England’s tour of Sri Lanka.
Root said they “completely respect” Moeen’s decision to return back to home. “From the squad, I think Moeen is the only one going home. With Moeen, it wasn’t about asking him if he wanted to stay, it was a decision that he chose. Of course, we want as many players to stay available as long as possible, but we also want them to be comfortable here. For Moeen, he wants to be at home with his family and we completely respect and understand that,” he said.
“It’s been a very difficult tour for him, having to deal with Covid and being in his room for such long periods of time. You come to a point where you want to get out of the bubble and that’s absolutely fair. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision for him, but it’s one that we respect,” Root added. (ANI)