Team's Motive Is To Do Something Special In India, Says Joe Root

Team’s Motive Is To Do Something Special In India, Says Joe Root

England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)

Joe Root, England skipper has said that his team England wasn’t taking the opportunity to ‘helping Australia’ and that the main motive of the England team was to end the 4-match Test series on a high as Australia needs England to beat India in the 4th and final Test to qualify for the World Test championship final.

India need a draw or a win and Australia need England to beat India to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship which will be played at Lord’s from June 18.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Ross Setford/Reuters

Even A Draw In The 4th Test Would Be A Fantastic Achievement: Joe Root

Australia stand-in coach Andrew McDonald has publicly said that Australia are backing their Ashes foes and hoping the team do well in the Ahmedabad Test from Thursday.

But England captain Joe Root doesn’t see the upcoming match as an opportunity to help Australia. With a smile on his face, the 30-year-old said that the team’s only motive was to salvage a draw and do something special in India. Notably, England is out of the WTC final race after losing the pink-ball Test by 10 wickets.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald Getty Images

“I wouldn’t see it as helping Australia. I would see it as ending with a drawn series and doing something special in India. Unfortunately, we can’t qualify for the final now but a draw would be a fantastic achievement and that’s all I can really say as an England captain,” Joe Root said.

The four-match series between India and England are poised at 2-1 in favour of India after England won the 1st Test by 227 runs before losing the next by 317 runs. India won the 3rd Test by 10 wickets in a low scoring encounter where England was dismissed after managing only 112 and 81 in the two innings respectively.  India also suffered a batting collapse in their first innings by scoring 145.

 England Must Embrace Conditions And Play A Fearless Brand Of Cricket: Joe Root

Joe Root reiterated that England need to play a fearless but not reckless brand of cricket. He expressed the belief that his side has all the “ingredients” to succeed in tough Indian conditions.

“I think it’s a reflection of conditions,’ said Root. ‘Being fearless means not having that tentative mentality of being trapped on the crease or caught in two minds. It’s having confidence to play the ball in front of you, not having baggage from what has happened before, not overthinking the pitch and trying to see things as they are.”

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

“It is all still there for us. We’ve got all the ingredients, all the pieces and all the skills to exploit and succeed in these conditions. It’s important we harness that and have it in the front of our minds. We need to be braver and play with a bit more freedom.”

‘That doesn’t mean going out there and trying to slog it or be ultra-aggressive. We play our game a certain way but we must not be scared of conditions. We must embrace them, however they turn out in this game,” Joe Root added.

Man of Match Axar Patel took 11 wickets in both the innings combined as he is on a dream run taking 18 wickets in his first two Tests averaging 9.44. Ravichandran Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker with 24 wickets in 3 Tests.

India smartly included three spinners in starting XI, while England banked on one front-line spinner in Jack Leach, which, in hindsight, did not work in the best of interests for Joe Root’s team. After bagging a maiden five-wicket-haul on his Test debut at Chennai, Axar Patel was unplayable and finished with 11 wickets in the match – 6/38 in the first innings and 5/32 in the second – as India bundled out England for 112 and 81 in the two innings.