England captain Root tells players to use the third performance of the test against India at Headingley as a template: “It is very important that we do not feel too comfortable.” Five-game series level to 1-1 before Test 4 at The Oval
Joe Root says work starts now for England before the fourth test
Joe Root has called for a “ruthless” approach from his England team when the test series against India resumes at 1-1 at The Oval on Thursday.
The hosts rounded off the five-game series with an inning victory in Test 3 at Headingley, regaining momentum from a team from India that had won at Lord’s with the aggressive style that has become their trademark under Virat’s leadership. Kohli.
England bowlers were accused of getting caught up in a male battle that did not suit their abilities in that game, and prior to the fourth Test Root he emphasized the importance of increasing the pressure on The Oval on his own terms.
“[India] They are a world-class team led by Virat, “the England captain said at his press conference on Tuesday.” I don’t expect anything less than an answer. It would be naive to think otherwise.
“That’s why it’s really important that we don’t feel too comfortable, that we don’t think we’ve achieved anything so far.
“We just got back to the level of the game. Now we have to work even harder, and if we get ahead of the game, we are again ruthless and we really take that winning position home.”
“As a team, one thing we take from [Lord’s] We have to be the best version of our team. We do things our way, we don’t get caught up in playing other people’s game, and we do things our way.
“We did that with a perfect response at Headingley, and it’s very important that we remember that. That’s when we play our best cricket.”
England’s discipline with the ball was the foundation of their success at Leeds, and their options in that department have been further strengthened with the return to the team of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes.
Wood missed Test 3 with a shoulder injury, while a combination of factors has kept Woakes out of the five-day squad for a year.
Root said a decision would be made on any changes after verifying the conditions of the pitch and the physical condition of those who played in the last test, but he welcomed Woakes’ return in particular.
“The last year has been a nightmare for him,” he said. “Whether it’s Covid that kept him out like close contact, or a strange injury coming down the stairs. It feels like he hasn’t played much, but when he’s played he’s been as good as ever.
“He was our best player last summer, so having him back is great.”
Jonny Bairstow will keep the window at The Oval in place of Jos Buttler, who misses the game to attend the birth of his son, but Root rejected suggestions that Buttler might choose to focus solely on cue ball cricket in the future, particularly with his participation in the Winter Ashes Series in doubt.
He said: “I see someone who is desperate to perform well in the test arena. He loves the test game and is a huge part of our team. As for me, I hope it will be an enjoyable week for him and extremely memorable”.
Pressed by the latest on the ashes, as preparations continue in the context of the pandemic and the changing rules on quarantine in Australia, Root said: “These are conversations that we will have with the ECB.
“One thing we’re waiting for is a little more information. Until we get that from Cricket Australia and their government, we just have to focus on this series and make sure it doesn’t become a distraction.”
Watch the first day of the fourth test between England and India at the Kia Oval starting at 10am on Thursday at Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event.