Starting from the pre-game tactic, Root went with the struggling top-order, which now has been rectified as Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have been dropped from the third Test. England failed to break India’s opening stand in helpful conditions as KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma held them off for more than 40 overs.
But the worse for Root, who scored an unbeaten 180, came on the morning of Day 5 when England let the game slip away. The hosts were in a dominant position when they dismissed Rishabh Pant early in the first session. However, they let that stronghold loose when Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami forged an 89-run ninth-wicket stand to bat England out of the game.
Instead of looking to dismiss the tailenders, England bowlers attacked them with a short ball barrage – they were willing to take revenge on Bumrah for attacking James Anderson with the short balls. While Bumrah did cop a few blows on his body, including one on his head, his concentration didn’t shift away, and he batted long enough to see his side to an unassailable situation.
It could just be decisions that don’t sound right in hindsight as well: Virat Kohli
Speaking on the eve of the third Test, Virat Kohli was asked about Joe Root’s captaincy mistakes at Lord’s. Defending his counterpart, the Indian skipper said that Root was trying to do the best for his side, but those decisions went against him.
He added that such criticism is easy to make when people have the knowledge of the result. He reckons Root must have learned from it and have moved on.
“I don’t know what the individuals’ mindset is. You can make mistakes in planning or at any stage, doesn’t mean you’re under pressure. It could just be decisions that don’t sound right in hindsight as well,” Virat Kohli said in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“As captain you make best decisions for the team at that moment, I’m sure he was doing the same. I can’t tap into on what was going on in his mind at that time, but from personal experience, you always try to do what’s best for your team. It might or might not be right in hindsight, you accept that and if it’s not right, take it on the chin and move ahead as he did. It’s part and parcel of the job,” he added.
England have suffered another blow as Mark Wood has been ruled out of the Headingley Test due to a jarred right shoulder, which he sustained while fielding at Lord’s. One of Saqib Mahmood or Craig Overton will replace him.