After a glorious win in Australia, Indian fans were looking for yet another domination from their side against England in their own soil. However, the ‘Men in Blue’ displayed a completely antithetical performance of what was expected of them. The Virat Kohli-led side allowed the visitors to walk over them completely. England went on to win the first Test 227 runs as they took a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.
IND vs ENG: Joe Root had a fear of Rishabh Pant
Many experts, including England’s legend Kevin Pietersen, claimed that Joe Root should have declared earlier in the second innings. So that England would have had more overs in hand to get rid of Indian batsmen while pitch started getting tougher. However, Root decided to let his side play until the last batsman was left in the crease.
England ended up giving India a total of 420 runs to win which the Indians failed miserably to chase. Root, in his post-match interview, stated that he didn’t want to leave any loose ends for the Indian batsmen to thrive on. Root was seemingly scared to lose the game as he wanted the match to either end in a draw or in their favour.
Root also stated Rishabh Pant’s dynamic batting as one of the reasons behind England’s decision to leave a huge total for India. Pant scored a gutsy 91 in the first innings and Root was seemingly bothered by the 23-year-old southpaw’s quality to turn the wave of the game with his bat.
IND vs ENG: Joe Root’s post-match interview
“We could have declared earlier, for sure, we could have. I wanted to make sure that there were only two results possible in this game. I wanted to make sure that we turned up today with the ball still being hard. We wanted to give our bowlers an extra bit of time to be raring to go.
“We wanted to get to 400 and then we wanted to press the accelerator. Actually, it was going to be really important that we had run on the board as it was a fast outfield,” said Root during the virtual press conference after the match and was quoted by The Daily Guardian.
“Rishabh Pant bats for one session and he can make things quite interesting. I did not want the pressure of having to contain and as well as take wickets. I wanted to make sure that the bowlers were concentrating on the ways of finding the wickets on that surface. We were always going to create ten chances, we just had to be disciplined and take the chances that came our way. We could have declared earlier, I am just glad how it has turned out,” Root added.