ENG vs IND: Ben Stokes said before the game that we are going to chase, says Joe Root
ENG vs IND: England batsman Joe Root said after his team’s seven-wicket victory over India that captain Ben Stokes had instructed his team to chase rather than bat first.
England made history by completing their biggest successful run chase in the longest format of the game with a seven-wicket victory over India in the fifth and final Test of the series at Edgbaston in Birmingham, thanks in large part to a 269-run partnership between Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. The 378-run aim set by India was successfully attained by them. This victory came after India made 416 in their first innings before England was bowled out for 284 in their first innings, behind by 132 runs. India was bowled out for 245 in the third innings of the game, giving England a winning target of 378.
With this, England has tied the series 2-2, preventing India from winning a series on English soil for the first time since 2007. Additionally, they have finished Edgbaston’s most successful run chase. Additionally, India suffered their first Test defeat when defending a score of at least 350.
“The chase was remarkable. There is a shift in mentality. Before the game, Stokes said that we are not going to bat first, we are going to chase. It is a slightly different outlook on the game. When you have a whole group backing what we are going to do. It gives you a huge amount of confidence,” said Root in a press conference following the match.
Root claimed that throughout the pursuit, he and Bairstow spoke.
“We had our conversations while batting. We knew that Indians were very much in the game. They are a side that takes the opportunity or wicket if they sniff it, they are really good at it. So we ensured that there was no more fall of a wicket. There have been talks about being positive and putting pressure back on the opposition. There have been talks about recognising passages of the game, the moments where you have to absorb some pressure. It was one of those moments,” he said.
The top batsman praised the bowling staff for their outstanding Test matches, pointing out that they have 80 wickets in their previous four matches.
Regarding the term ‘Bazball’, a term used to describe England’s more aggressive and positive approach to the game under captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, Root said, “Ben wanted us to be entertainers, he mentioned trying to be rockstars on the field. It is more about trying to have fun.”
Although the side has had an incredible four weeks, Root acknowledged that there is still room for much more.
“We should be excited about what is to come for the rest of the summer and beyond that. We just got to play with that same confidence, keep a fun element to it. And hopefully, replicate some more entertaining games of cricket,” he added.
Coming to the match, England got things going at 259/3 on the last day with to Joe Root (76*) and Jonny Bairstow (72*).
On the last day, the pair proceeded to attack the Indian bowlers from the get-go with their same strokeplay and tenacity. They managed to run together for 200 runs and 250 runs without tiring. Root and Bairstow extended their hot streak with the bat, each earning their 12th and 28th Test tonnes. In the 78th over of the match, Root struck Jadeja for the decisive single.
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