England Test captain, Joe Root is ready for his bout with India’s premier spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin in the Test series which commences on Friday in Chennai, Ashwin’s home ground.
Both the stalwarts are riding on huge confidence from their recent performances. While Joe Root struck 426 runs in two Tests in Sri Lanka and put on a masterclass of batting against spinners; on the other hand Ashwin is fresh off his 12 wickets in three Tests in India’s victorious series in Australia, the off-spinner dismissed Steve Smith, former number 1 ICC Test batsman, thrice in three Tests.
Joe Root, ahead of the first Test match, says that he is confident and prepared for battles with Ashwin having scored runs against the off-spinner previously. The English skipper does have a good record over Ashwin – across 4 Test series, the right-hander has scored 251 runs off the bowling of R Ashwin and has been dismissed thrice averaging 83.
“I’ve played against him before, scored a few runs and he’s probably got me out a couple of times as well. It’s going to be a great battle within the Test match. It’s a contest you want to get the better off,” Joe Root said.
Having a ball-by-ball mentality will serve me best: Joe Root
Joe Root, who will play his 100th Test match for England when he takes the field in Chennai, reckons he won’t pre-decide his move while facing R Ashwin. The 30-year-old says that instead, he will look to play and focus on every ball rather than lunging forward or rocking back prematurely.
“I won’t go out there trying to look to dominate or defend, I will just play the next delivery. He’s a fine bowler. He has a great record in India and he’s probably full of confidence off the back of that series. Having a ball-by-ball mentality will probably serve me best throughout,” the right-hander added.
Joe Root made his Test debut in Nagpur in the 2012 series – the last time India lost a Test series at home – and has since amassed 8249 runs at an average of 49.1.
Apart from his individual performance, the 30-year-old will also have an eye on the vacant berth for the final of the World Test Championship – India, England, and Australia are in contention to play the final at Lord’s against New Zealand.