Buoyed by the thumping win in the second Test over Pakistan, England skipper Joe Root is confident his side can challenge India when the world number one Test side visit England for a five-Test series a month later.
The win ended England’s eight-match winless streak. They had lost the Ashes 4-0 before losing the two-match series in New Zealand 1-0. Their summer started on a similar note as Pakistan inflicted a humiliating 9-wicket loss on them at Lord’s.
England were in danger of losing their third successive Test series and first home series defeat to Pakistan this century. But before things could have further deteriorated, Joe Root & Co. bounced back strongly and came up with a clinical effort to dismantle the visitors in the second Test and square the series. The hosts were at their dominating best as they thrashed Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs.
Speaking after the win, Root admitted his side was below-par in the series-opener before lauding his side for bouncing back strongly.
“We were below par [at Lord’s], we know that,” Root told Sky Sports in the post-match presentation.
“We were down on confidence from a tough winter, but we came back and showed the character, showed we were a better side.
“It was a tough week and we responded well, we spoke about character but wanted to play with pride and enjoyment. We learned quickly and adapted well to the conditions,” he added.
When asked if his side could challenge India, Root added: “I think so. “It’s about making sure we continue to improve and have good weeks like this, taking confidence forward.”
Root further singled out Keaton Jennings, Sam Curran and Dom Bess for special praise.
“I think they did a really good job,” he said. “Keaton played well first up, the two young lads performed exceptionally well, exactly what you want for your attack.
“I said we had a point to prove and a lot of hard work to do. We’ve got time to achieve that, this is a good step and chance to take it forward,” he concluded.