Root taking the fight to India

03 March 2021 19:53:09 GMTPlus10

Joe Root says England's batsmen must continue to play positively despite their crushing defeat in the third Test against India.

Root's men trail 2-1 in the four-match series and the final Test starts on Thursday morning in Ahmedabad, where England were beaten by ten wickets inside two days in the third game.

You need to be able to put pressure back on the bowlers.

Joe Root

The England skipper made a stunning start to the series, scoring 218 in a first-innings total of 578 to set up a comprehensive victory in the first Test in Chennai.

Since that innings, however, the tourists have been bowled out for 178, 134, 164, 112 and 81, with India's senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claiming 24 wickets and left-arm slow bowler Axar Patel picking up 18 in his first two Test appearances.

Another trial by spin is expected in the fourth Test and England's batsmen must improve on their efforts last week.

Zak Crawley top-scored with 53 in their first innings but was bowled first ball second time around, while Jonny Bairstow bagged a pair at number three and Dom Sibley (nought and seven) and Ollie Pope (one and 12) also struggled.

Root told reporters that England must not go into their shells against the home side's spinners, saying: "Being fearless is not having that tentative mentality of being trapped on the crease or caught in two minds. It's having that confidence to play the ball in front of you.

"If you get an opportunity to score, you absolutely have to commit to it. You need to be able to put pressure back on the bowlers."

England are 3.75 to beat 1.53 hosts India in the fourth Test and Root is 10.00 to be named player of the match.

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