England skipper Joe Root defended his decision of bowling first after India thrashed the hosts by 203 runs in the third England vs India Test.
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England’s recent knack of coming up with a dreadful performance after a good one was once again on display at Trent Bridge. Not many would predicted the hosts to crumble like the way they did at Trent Bridge after two solid displays at Edgbaston and Lord’s. However, England just could not build on the momentum and were thoroughly outplayed by the world number one Test side.
Barring the toss, not much went right for Joe Root & Co. The England skipper did not have any hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first in the testing conditions. But any hopes of seeing the Indian batting falling apart in swinging conditions was soon thwarted. India rode on fifties from Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane to post a challenging 329.
In reply, England were all out for just 161. Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings had given the team a good start by adding 54 runs. But once both the openers departed on successive deliveries, the rest of the batting lineup fell like a pack of cards. Hardik Pandya was the star of the show, picking up his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests for just 28 runs.
India’s batting clicked in the second essay too. Kohli once again led from the front, scoring a sublime 103. Cheteshwar Pujara and Hardik Pandya also scored fifties as India declared their innings on 352 for 7, thus setting England a target of 521. England were staring down the barrel after being reduced to 62 for 4. Jos Buttler then scored his maiden Test ton, scoring 106 and added 169 runs with Ben Stokes to give his team a glimmer of hope.
However, Jasprit Bumrah ran through the middle and lower-order, picking up to give India the much-needed win.
Speaking after the loss, Root said his team does not have any regret before defending his decision to bowl first.
“I don’t think there are any regrets. It’s a strong team that we have. It was always going to be a difficult decision, and looking at the toss, there was some light grass on the wicket and it was a good opportunity to get ahead in the game. That didn’t happen. That’s nitpicking, if I say we should have bowled fuller, so we just have to give the credit to India,” he said at the presentation ceremony.
Root further admitted his team underperformed and spoke on the importance of adapting as per situation.
We underperformed in the first innings. In the 2nd innings, the partnership between Buttler and Stokes was admirable and a lesson in how to play Test cricket. We have to look at that, and adapt our games individually in Southampton. You’re always looking to find a way to get people out (on Virat), and it’s not like he has got quick runs against us, but he’s got a way to adapt to these conditions. We have experienced bowlers, who can work him out.