'A huge boost,' Root pumped about Stokes, Archer's return for India Tests
- Stokes and Archer were rested for the Sri Lanka Tests but are fully expected to be named in England's squad which will be announced later Thursday.
England captain Joe Root is looking ahead to his team's tour of India starting first week of February and expects England to be fully prepared for the five-Test series. Root's England is currently in Sri Lanka for a two-Test series and lead it 1-0 after a convincing seven-wicket win in Galle. The first of the five Tests against India begins February 5 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and Root admits England will tested by the hosts, who are coming off a resounding 2-1 series win Down Under.
"I expect India to be full of confidence and in their own conditions they are a very good team. They play some very good cricket," he told reporters.
"We have to be at our absolute best. But that's an exciting prospect for us, a great opportunity for us, it's a great way to aid our development as a side. And we will be going there fully expecting to try and win that series. But we have got a lot of hard work to do before we get there. We got a big Test match here."
This will be the first Test series between the two teams in over two years. The last time India and England played Test matches was during the Pataudi Trophy in England, in which England beat India 4-1 in a five Test series. Root sounded excited about the prospect of all-rounder Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer returning to the Test squad. Stokes and Archer were rested for the Sri Lanka Tests but are fully expected to be named in England's squad which will be announced later Thursday.
"You speak to any side in the world, those two guys coming back into it would give the squad a huge boost and it's certainly the case for us. We (will be) excited to see them back in and around the squad. Hopefully they are full of energy and ready to go when they get here," Root added.
England have played the most cricket among all eight teams since the game resumed post the Covid-19 pandemic. They faced West Indies and Pakistan in Test series before squaring off against Australia in a T20I and ODI series at home before touring Sri Lanka. Root highlighted the important year that lies ahead – 2021 – during which the highly-anticipated T20 World Cup will be played and for that, workload management is extremely essential.
"It's a huge year of Test cricket and also a World Cup, a lot of one-day cricket alongside. We're going to have to look after players. It's crucial we've got guys who are fit and raring to go, physically and mentally, for everything that's going to be thrown at us in the next 12 months," Root said.
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