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India vs England: Who said Test cricket is dead, gushes Joe Root after Edgbaston Test win

England skipper Joe Root said he told the team to show passion and belief and stay calm, thus inspiring their win in the Edgbaston Test.

cricket Updated: Aug 04, 2018 20:49 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Birmingham
India vs England,Joe Root,Edgbaston Test
England's captain Joe Root (R) shakes hands with India's captain Virat Kohli after the game ends on the fourth day of the first Test cricket match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England on August 4, 2018. (AFP)

England didn’t catch well, but eventually pulled off a sensational victory over India in the first Test at Edgbaston on Saturday, leaving skipper Joe Root gushing over the quality of the match on Saturday. (IND v ENG 1st Test Day 4 highlights)

India were 53 runs from victory with skipper Virat Kohli batting on 51 on the fourth morning of the five-Test series’ opening game when the England skipper’s inspired bowling change saw all-rounder Ben Stokes strike first over to remove the home team’s danger man.

Stokes, who will miss the second Test at Lord’s starting on August 9 because of a court hearing in Bristol on affray charges following last year’s incident outside a bar in that city, triggered the England comeback. The hearing starts on Monday and is expected to continue for at least a few days.

Stokes took two wickets in one over and then sealed victory by removing all-rounder Hardik Pandya. “It was a fantastic team performance and credit to both bowling sides. It is easy to criticise both batters,” he said, pointing to the game of modest totals.

ALSO READ | Heartbreak for India, Virat Kohli; England win Edgbaston Test by 31 runs

The England skipper said he told the team to show passion and belief and stay calm. “Test cricket can throw so many things at you. It fills you with confidence, winning the first Test. (Test cricket) shows it is so much more than skill, runs and wickets,” he said pointing to the hosts holding their nerves.

“This match is up there,” he said at the news conference. “Anyone who says Test cricket is dead can watch this… I’m really proud of the group. It sets up the series nicely.”

He praised Stokes for turning things around for England, after India had looked ahead on a bright morning. England had declared overnight that getting Kohli would be the key, and Root praised Stokes as the player who produces the goods when it matters.

“Stokesy has that knack. He wants to be involved in these big moments,” he said. “Whenever you are in a close game, you want to be on the right side of it. We got a few things wrong (dropped four catches and he was run out for 80 in the first innings) but kept confidence in one another.”

He said England pacers Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad didn’t give away boundaries on the fourth morning to keep India’s chase under control.

ALSO READ | Virat Kohli bemoans lack of application from top order batsmen

Root dubbed all-rounder Sam Curran as another Ben Stokes after the 20-year-old all-rounder, in only his second Test, hit 63 in the second innings to give England a fighting chance on Day 3. That came after his four-wicket haul undermined India’s first innings batting.

“Sam has a bit of Stokes in him. Whenever he is around, he has the desire to be in it, similar to Ben. That was a fantastic performance.”

Curran, son of former Zimbabwe all-rounder, the late Kevin, said: “I have looked up to Stokes. I have competitive spirit in my body and I try to play my natural game. It was one of those days, pretty special.”

First Published: Aug 04, 2018 19:34 IST