Under-fire Joe Root urges batsmen to adapt Virat Kohli’s methods
The failures of England opener Alastair Cook (29, 16) and No. 3 Root (16, 13) hurt them at Trent Bridge. Root backed himself and Cook, England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, to bounce back.cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2018 09:40 IST
England skipper Joe Root urged his batsmen to adapt from Indian counterpart Virat Kohli after he faced heavy criticism in the wake of the huge defeat in the Trent Bridge Test on Wednesday. India fast bowlers bundled out England for 161 in the first innings between lunch and tea on Day 2, going on to win by 203 runs on the fifth morning to narrow the hosts’ series lead to 2-1.
The failures of England opener Alastair Cook (29, 16) and No. 3 Root (16, 13) hurt them at Trent Bridge. Root backed himself and Cook, England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, to bounce back. Kohli put up another magnificent show, scoring 97 and 103 and raising century partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Root, among the leading Test batsmen in the world, said seaming conditions have made life tough for batsmen in this series. Openers from both sides are yet to get a fifty.
“You’ve definitely seen that the case here with the floodlights coming into it a bit more (aiding swing and seam). The nature of these three games – there has been a lot of overcast conditions, it has got quite dark. It does dramatically change the complexion of the game when that happens,” Root told reporters.
“It might be that it’s difficult now but the best players always find a way to score runs and you look at someone like Virat, who is at the top of his game at the moment, and he has managed to do that. That’s a good lesson for us to learn and take on board going to Southampton (fourth Test venue).
“If you have a strong method, you can succeed against high-quality bowling in these conditions.”
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace urged batsmen to learn from Kohli, who has amassed 440 runs in this series.
“You’re always looking to learn across the board, not just individual players,” Root said. “Virat’s played extremely well, he’s been very disciplined in terms of what he’s trying to do and how he’s trying to score his runs. It’s impressive to see how he has managed to do that for long periods of time in difficult circumstances.
“I suppose the art of learning is managing to adapt that to the way you play and not trying to copy exactly how someone else goes about things.
“If personally I can do that and other guys as well around our team can take pockets of the way he’s gone about it and apply it to the way they play, then great. Ultimately, it’s about finding the best version of yourself and being really confident with that and going out and trusting it, as you saw Jos (Buttler) do.”
Root said England players should take the confidence of holding the series lead when they go to Southampton. The fourth Test starts August 30. “One thing that’s come from this game is you look at that partnership between Jos and Ben (Stokes), and it’s a great example and lesson to the batting group of how to go about things in Test cricket.”
England have also dropped more than a dozen catches in the slips in this series. India put down three in Trent Bridge. Jos Buttler, dropped by Rishabh Pant on one, made 106, but it didn’t hurt in the end.
Root was run out for 70 in Edgbaston and has been kept quiet by India bowlers since then. But he was combative.
“I know what I’m capable of doing. I don’t feel as though I’m Bambi on ice or anything. I’m determined to get things right at Southampton... If you are realistic about things – which I try to be – I don’t think I’m far away from making big scores.”
First Published: Aug 22, 2018 20:58 IST