England skipper Joe Root was aware of the possibility of Team India bringing in their ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the Oval Test. He stated that the English batsmen were preparing for the challenges Ashwin could pose in the fourth Test match.
Following India’s innings defeat at Headingley, calls for the inclusion of Ashwin gained traction. There was a bit of logic to it as well, since the pacers need to be well-rested for a long series and Ashwin is also more than capable with the bat himself.
Root, who is in the form of his life, claimed that his men are prepared for anything that the Indian team has in store, especially the guile of Ashwin.
“His record speaks for itself, he’s a world-class player. We’ve seen him score runs and take wickets against us, we know what he’s capable of in Test arena. We will certainly be making sure that we’re prepared for the challenges that he poses coming into this Test match, along with other combinations that they might throw at us,” Root said.
“To keep Virat Kohli quiet is an extremely good effort from our bowling group” – Joe Root
So far, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been patchy in the series which is unlike himself. He is going through a dry spell but Kohli is known to rise to the occasion when the team is under pressure. Unfortunately for India, he has been kept honest in the three Tests so far.
Much of it is down to the applaudable effort put in by England bowlers, as per Joe Root. He was happy that their tactics against India’s best batsman was working to a tee.
“A lot of credit has to go to our bowling group. First and foremost, Virat is world-class, there is no doubt about that. That’s why the credit has to go to our bowlers, to keep him quiet is an extremely good effort from the bowling group.”
“It’s something we have to continue to do if we want to win the series. For now, we have found ways to get him out so we got to keep trying to find ways of building pressure and keeping him quiet. Hopefully, that relentless pressure is something that we can contain moving forward,” Root added.
Kohli has scored 124 runs in five innings so far, which is extremely poor compared to his counterpart, Root, who has amassed 507 runs in the same number of innings.