England captain Joe Root credited the Indian cricket team for their flawless performance after the visiting team suffered a 317-run loss in the second Test which was played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. With this win, India drew level in the four-match series 1-1.
England had come into this Test match high on confidence, after having won the first Test match, which was also played at the same venue, by 227 runs. Joe Root had played a huge role in that win, having his 218 and 40 in the win, while spinner Jack Leach and Dom Bess had picked Indian wickets regularly.
However, this match turned out to be exactly the opposite, as England lost the toss and was asked to field by Indian captain Virat Kohli. Though the pitch was tough to bat on, as it spun from day one, India showed resilience making 329 in the first innings, on the back of Rohit Sharma’s 161.
England was bowled out for 134 in the first innings giving India a 195-run lead, with Ravichandran Ashwin taking 5/43. Ashwin then struck 106 helping India to 286 runs. Set 482 runs to win, England folded for 164 runs, losing the match by 317 runs, with Akshar Patel taking 5/60 in his debut Test.
From Day Two It Was A Very Difficult Wicket To Bat On: Joe Root
“Credit to India, they outplayed us in all three departments. It has been an education for us, you could come up with conditions like these, and we have to learn from this and find a way to score runs. We need to learn to build pressure and bowl six balls at one batsman. On day one we could have been a bit tighter, squeeze the game a bit more and make it harder for them to score. From day two it was a very difficult wicket to bat on,” Joe Root said in the post-match presentation.
None of the England batsman apart from Ben Foakes in the first innings managed to negotiate Indian spinners as Ravichandran Ashwin, Akshar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav spun a web around them. Rishabh Pant kept amazingly well on a minefield of a pitch to build pressure on the England team, which couldn’t handle the heat.
“But we have got to be smarter about how we’re building an innings. We are 1-1 and we are excited about the next two games given the way we played in the first game. We could’ve played that extra spinner, it is always easy to look at balancing the side at the end of the game. It will be different again when we turn up for the third game which will be a day-nighter, and very exciting last two games. Moeen got better with the ball as the game went on, and we know how destructive he can be with the bat. Ben Foakes batted really well in the first innings and his keeping has always been excellent,” Root added.
We Have To Learn Quickly Before The Next Test In Ahmedabad: Joe Root
India and England now move to Ahmedabad’s New Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera for the last two Test matches of the series. The third Test will be a day-night affair and will be played with a pink ball from February 24 onwards. This will be the very first such D/N match between India and England and the second pink-ball Test in India.
Joe Root admitted the importance of the upcoming matches and said that the team needed to learn quickly.
“There are definitely things we can take from this week and it is just important that we stay level as a team. We performed last week and we have got to learn quickly. There are a lot of players who haven’t played much cricket in this region and we have to learn quickly, which is something we have done well over the last few years. Ahmedabad will be very different, we have played only two pink-ball games. It looks like a fantastic venue, really looking forward to that,” Root signed off.