IND vs ENG Tests: England Test skipper Joe Root on Thursday said that the side is not looking to single out spinners for taking the bulk of wickets against India, rather it is about working together as a bowling group.
India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The first Test begins February 5 and as Root steps on the field, he will play his 100th Test match for the Three Lions. “I think it is fantastic that all three spinners (Moeen Ali, Dom Bess, and Jack Leach) are fit and available for selection, as a whole bowling group, it would be important that we work together, not single out spinners and separate the seamers. Collectively, it would be important that we all play our part, actually, we look at things in partnerships, we look at how as a bowling group, we are going to take 20 wickets in these conditions,” said Root while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“We are not putting pressure on individuals to try and win games on their own, it will be the same mentality throughout this series and individually, it would be about doing your job to the best of your ability if you get the chance to play,” he added.
Talking about his admiration for Cheteshwar Pujara, Root said: “I think he is a fantastic player, I had the pleasure of playing a couple of games with him for Yorkshire. To learn from him and speak about batting, was really interesting. Playing against him and being on the wrong end of him scoring some runs, you learn from those kinds of innings. You have seen his importance and what he adds to the Indian team, he is going to be a huge wicket for us, no doubt.”
“There would be times when we would be required to stay patient, and we need to be mentally strong as he is at the crease, we know he is a fantastic player. He has a fantastic record at home, in particular, it is going to be a great challenge to come up against him,” added Root.
England skipper also said that playing against India in India would be a great challenge for this current side, but he also added that everyone is pretty upbeat about the upcoming series after winning the two Tests against Sri Lanka in January this year.
“We are getting a huge amount of confidence after winning the two Tests against Sri Lanka, we are realistic about where we are as a team. We know this is going to be a huge challenge for us, we are looking forward to it. It is about concentrating on the right things which we think would be the best for us, this is a great opportunity for this group, we are looking forward to the next four Tests,” said Root.
Talking about his battle with Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson among the “Big Four”, Root said: “Firstly, I look at these three guys and I try to learn as much as I can. They are three of the leading players in the world, it would be silly not to watch how they go about things. We all play the game differently, that’s the beauty of this game, there is no one way of getting things right, in terms of those individual battles, for me, it is not the most important thing.”
“For us to win this series against India, it is going to take our entire squad coming in together and producing something special together. It would be about managing pressure for long periods of time,” he added.
England’s touring contingent arrived in Chennai on January 27 and all the members were in quarantine for six days before they finally began their training. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Rory Burns arrived earlier as the trio did not play the Test series against Sri Lanka.