Despite the trashing in the last two Tests, a confident Joe Root has stated that the Three Lions got all the ingredients, pieces and skills to exploit and come on top of the Indian side in the fourth Test. He also hinted at the possibility of Dom Bess returning to the setup for the Thursday clash.
After England’s success in Sri Lanka, where they swept past the home side 2-0, none expected them to have a similar result against India. While they started the tour with a bang, winning the first Test in Chennai in the most convincing of manners, they have hit the dead-end from thereon. In successive Tests, the visitors have been bundled out for low scores, with their bowling unable to pick the right wickets at the right time.
From a 1-0 lead in the series, England find themselves trailing 1-2 in the series, ahead of the fourth Test. English skipper Joe Root, however, stated that they got all the ingredients, pieces and skills to not just exploit in these conditions but also to succeed against the hosts. He added that the visitors should play the fourth Test with a lot more bravery and freedom.
"We've got all the ingredients, all the pieces and all the skills to exploit and succeed in these conditions," said Root ahead of the Test, reported TOI.
"It is important we harness that, have it in the front of our mind and be a bit braver actually, play with a little bit more freedom. That doesn't mean going out there and trying to slog it, or be ultra-aggressive -- we need to play our game a certain way but it is about not being scared of the conditions,” he added.
While insisting that the visitors should be fearless, Root also specified that everyone’s idea and perception of fearless might be different. Hence, he added that people have to trust their own gameplay and go and score runs, be it sweeping, defending or counter-attacking, like Ben Stokes.
“Everyone’s idea of what fearless is is slightly different. But being fearless is not having that tentative mentality of being trapped on the crease or being caught in two minds,” explained Root.
However, one debate that has hindered the English side in the last game - has been their selection of a three-man pace attack, something that Root admitted was a ‘mistake’. Root insisted that this Test would see a return of the 23-year-old off-spinner Dom Bess, who was dropped during the Test series, after picking up six wickets in the opening Test.
“I think if the pitch looks anything like the last one, he’ll (Bess) be licking his lips at the opportunity. You look at the side for the last match and we got that wrong, we read the pitch wrong in terms of the way we selected the team.”