England captain Joe Root revealed that the Three Lions have adequate plans in place for Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Stating that the current England side wants to make a serious impression in the highly- anticipated five-match Test series Root maintained that it does not really matter if they are deemed as favourites due to favourable conditions at home.
“From our perspective, we’d love similar form but we know how good a player he is and what he is capable of. He’s come a long way in the last few years in this format in particular. We feel we have some strong plans in place for him but ultimately when you play against the world’s best players they generally have answers,” Root said while addressing a press conference on the eve of the first Test.
“I’m sure there are a lot of England fans out there that love watching him play. We obviously know he’s a world proven performer in this format and it’ll be very important for us to try and keep him quiet. But there are some other good players on show within these two teams and it’s important we make sure we outperform India as a whole,” Reuters quoted him saying.
Reacting to the widespread criticism over the inclusion of leg-spinner Adil Rashid, Root made his point of view and said, “Criticism against Rashid hasn’t affected us. He’s gone about his business as he has all summer and how he does it in the one-day side. He looks like he’s bowling extremely well and hopefully he can transfer that out in the middle now.”
“Obviously I was in favour of the selection and I think it gives us a really great attacking spinning option. In terms of the criticism, people are entitled to their opinions and can voice what they want. I probably think it’s slightly unfair but that’s my opinion,” he opined.
“Looking at the surface we decided we only want to go with one spinner and that’s going to be Adil (Rashid). Both Moeen Ali and Adil bring different things to the table but with the amount of right-handers we think are going to be in India’s team he gives us a very attacking option,” Root explained.
While India have not named their playing eleven Root remained unconcerned and said, “In terms of India’s team, we’ll have to wait and see. I’m not going to have preconceived ideas. This team gives us great balance. It gives us a huge amount of options on this surface. I feel it gives us the best chance to take 20 wickets. That’s the thinking,” said Root.
“It is a big series to get right. But every series is, especially at home. You want to make sure you win. You can see that hunger in the guys in the dressing room. It feels like we’re in a good place going into it and now it’s just about delivering,” he said before concluding by saying, “It doesn’t matter if we are favourites, we have to play the best cricket if we want to win. We have had two disappointing series so far in terms of results but I thought the way we came back at Headingley against Pakistan was a real starting point for this group and something to build on long term.”