After England lost to India by 157 runs in the fourth Test at The Oval, Joe Root has stated that his team should learn from Jasprit Bumrah, who struck crucial blows on the final day. Root further added that India seized every opportunity they had to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed partnered for a 100-run stand in the second innings while chasing the 368-run target set by India. India needed early wickets on Day 5 and Shardul Thakur sent Burns packing to give the visitors a breakthrough. Later, England lost Dawid Malan after a mix-up between him and Hameed. From 120/2 England soon stumbled to 193/8 courtesy of a brilliant bowling performance from the Indian bowlers. Joe Root looked promising but Shardul Thakur got the better of him once again, to end England’s chances of seeing out the day for a draw.
Jasprit Bumrah became the fastest Indian bowler to pick 100 wickets in Test cricket during the second innings at The Oval. He clinched the wicket of first innings star batsman, Ollie Pope with his inswinging delivery. He then produced a reverse-swinging yorker in his very next over to dismiss Jonny Bairstow. Joe Root stated that Bumrah recognized the key moment in the game and believed that his back-to-back strikes were the major turning points.
“Something we’ve got to get better at is recognizing the key moments in games and forcing it a little bit more. We didn’t quite manage to do it this time. You look at that spell by Bumrah: he recognized a key moment in the game and turned it on its head this afternoon, and we’ve got to make sure we do that as well. It was a wonderful spell that really turned the game – they got the ball reversing nicely and they really took advantage of it,” Root said after England's defeat, reported The Guardian.
Root stated that the English batsmen could not convert their 30’s to a big innings, which could have made a different impact in the match.
“If you’re 30 not out, or if you’re thrown the ball, you need to get the bit between your teeth and turn the game by making a big hundred or taking some quick wickets,” he said. “You need to take advantage when conditions are in your favour and turn the game on its head. It’s something we’ve done throughout the series but not consistently enough,” Root added.
The England skipper confessed that there was a certain period in the game when he thought the hosts were far ahead in the match to win the fourth Test at The Oval.
"Well as India have played, I still feel we should have got something out of this Test match. There’s been a number of periods within the game when I felt we were ahead and had a great chance. To be sat here with nothing to show from the week, it’s frustrating. There’s no point trying to sugarcoat it. We should have got something from this game”, believed Root.
Root reckoned that if England could have managed another 100 runs to their first innings lead of 99 runs, things would have been different in the match. He further added that a few catches that were dropped changed the course of the game.
“I think it was lost earlier in the game. We should have got a bigger lead first time round with the bat. It would have been nice to have another 100 runs, then we’d be looking at a very different game. Catching, we did put down a few chances. Some were extremely difficult, it has to be said but, if you give chances to world-class players, they take them.”
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and pacer Mark Wood are likely to return for the fifth Test at Old Trafford. Joe Root is hopeful that the team will regan the momentum and come back with more confidence for the fifth and the final Test of the series.
“It has been frustrating, the amount of injuries we’re currently having to contend with,” Root said. “But we’re more than capable of turning things round very quickly as we’ve very recently shown, and we’ve got to get ourselves in the right frame of mind to do just that. We’ve every confidence we can go to Old Trafford and get the win.”
England will face India in the final Test match on September 10 at The Old Tarfford.