England's captain Joe Root attends a press conference at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on August 8, 2018, ahead of the second Test cricket match between England and India.(AFP)
England's captain Joe Root attends a press conference at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on August 8, 2018, ahead of the second Test cricket match between England and India.(AFP)

India vs England: England skipper Joe Root not to shore up butter-fingered slip cordon

Joe Root’s fielding position has come under scrutiny and there have been voices urging him to switch to the slip cordon after England dropped four clear chances in the ring behind the batsman at Edgbaston in the first Test.
By N Ananthanarayanan | Hindustan Times, London
UPDATED ON AUG 09, 2018 11:07 AM IST

Experts say fielding captains run the show better fielding at mid-off or mid-on and England skipper Joe Root said he would stick to that in the second Test against India starting at Lord’s on Thursday.

Root’s fielding position has come under scrutiny and there have been voices urging him to switch to the slip cordon after England dropped four clear chances in the ring behind the batsman at Edgbaston in the first Test.

However, Root said he would stay at mid-off to communicate better with the bowlers. Alastair Cook (dropped one), Jos Buttler (keeper playing as specialist bat) and Keaton Jennings (dropped one), complete the cordon. Dawid Malan, who dropped three catches, has been axed.

 

“It’s a crucial part of Test cricket, especially India being such a good side you have to take those chances. Looking for continuity in that department, we feel they are the best three guys to field in the cordon. Hopefully that can be settled and stay the same for a long period of time,” Root said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“I did (think about moving to slip). I felt that that is a very solid cordon and gives me an opportunity to be at mid-off, speak to the bowlers, have real clarity about what we are trying to do as a team and have a real gauge of managing the game with the guys, not telling them what to do but having clarity with how we want to approach things.”

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Root, who has advocated calm in tight situations, said the narrow win over India – by 31 runs on the fourth morning – in the Edgbaston Test has really boosted confidence going into the second game of the five-match series. But he said the credit was due to the team.

“I’ve not thought about it too much. We did some stuff well, but ultimately, regardless of what you do as captain, your players have to perform and I thought they were exceptional. It’s not for me to take credit for their hard work.

“Under pressure we stayed c alm, we knew what lengths to bowl and stuck to that, it would have been easy for us to chase the game on that last morning but we didn’t. We knew if we held to our plans and stayed calm we would create enough chances.

“It’s nice to know our thinking is right and we’re able to follow through on that when it really matters. For me to come as captain and win a close game fills me with confidence going into the rest of the series against the No 1 side in the world, but it’s about backing it up now.

“We are looking for consistency in back-to-back games and this is an opportunity to do that.”

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