With a series of poor performances, the pressure was on England batsman Joe Root. The right-hand batsman silenced his critics as he went on to score his 12th ODI century against India at Lord’s on Friday, helping his side in picking up an 86-run win. Speaking to reporters at the post-match press conference, the right-handed batsman said that the innings will give him confidence on how to pick up chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who has proven to be a big thorn for the home side throughout the series.
“For me, having not faced a lot of Kuldeep for example, it was about picking as many cues up as possible throughout and makes sure I don’t get caught in the cold in Leeds, if I start against spin,” the 26-year old said.
He further added that spending time on the pitch against such bowling attack has given him confidence. “I have only faced four balls against him in the last couple of games. But ultimately you have got to trust your game and your technique. I felt that the four balls I did face, I thought I was picking him okay. So it was more about spending some time out there and trusting the way I play spin. I haven’t faced much of his type of bowling but having a few overs under my belt gave me quite a lot of confidence,” Root said.
He further went on to explain his mindset when facing Kuldeep, who had already taken two wickets in the match. “You have got to make sure that you stay strong and trust the stuff you have been doing well for such a long period of time. So I was pleased with the way I went about today. Most importantly, we sit here 1-1 in the series and have got a great opportunity in Leeds,” Root said.
He further added that the innings will help him in preparing for the Test series, in case Kuldeep gets included in the squad. “Again on the turning surface, you make sure you are playing in the right manner and working things out. It might work out if he (Kuldeep) is in Test squad and it could hold me in good stead. Ultimately it is about making sure when we come to the Headingley game, we are ready and prepared for that,” he said.
With the third and final ODI set to be played next Tuesday, Root expressed hopes that the home country can finish the series on a positive note. “The surface was going to deteriorate quite quickly and we had the better (chance) of batting on it. But later, the way we went about it with the ball was outstanding. The ruthless side of this (England) ODI team came out today and that was something you have seen more and more of. Hopefully, we can back it up and finish the series strong now,” he said.