England captain Joe Root has described the enthralling Test match at Edgbaston as a great advertisement for Test cricket. When asked if it all added up to the best match he has played in, the Yorkshireman said, “It’s up there. It is a fabulous advert for the game of cricket, isn’t it? Anyone that says it’s dead can just come and watch this on repeat. What a game! I’m still trying to soak it all in, but it was a fabulous team performance.”
England beat India by 31 runs on Saturday in a tense finish. This was after Ben Stokes ran through the Indian lower order and returned with figures of 4/40. Revealing what he told his teammates before the start of play, Root said, “I spoke to the boys at the start, and said ‘Just go out there with that belief, desire that you have done the previous two days in the field’ – and they didn’t disappoint.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of that. That’s all you can ask as a captain … the guys to do as you ask, and under pressure to stay as calm as we did,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Praising 20-year-old all-rounder Sam Curran who showed maturity beyond his age to pick five wickets and scored important runs in the second innings, the England captain said, “The reason sam’s played is firstly for his performances that he’s put in for surrey. he’s made some big contributions for his county side and a big part of that team.”
“Whenever he’s been around, whenever you watch him operate on the field he has this desire and steeliness within him which, similar to ben, wants to be involved in the big occasions and that obviously suits playing in test match cricket and you’ve seen that throughout this game,” Root added.
“That was a fantastic performance to come into his second test match under pressure, against the number one test team in the world and play like that. as a side going into a five-match series like that should fill him with a huge amount of confidence for the rest of this series,” he concluded.