On the eve of his 100th Test, skipper Joe Root knows a lot is riding on his shoulders as England’s main batsman.
And the key to his success will be how he handles India’s spinners, especially R. Ashwin.
Play by ear
“I just have to play what is in front of me. I will not look to dominate or defend,” said Root on how he intends to tackle Ashwin.
“He is a fine bowler, has a great record in India. I have scored some runs and he has got the better of me a couple of times. It is going to be a great battle within the Test match,” he said.
England, though, was dealt a blow with top-order batsman Zak Crawley being ruled out of the first two Tests with a wrist injury following a fall near the dressing room on Tuesday. With Crawley absent, Root may even have to bat at number three. Something he didn’t rule out.
Teams could learn from India’s success in Australia despite a plethora of injuries. But there would be equal pressure on India now to do well at home, the England skipper said.
Commenting on the Chepauk wicket, Root said, “I had a brief look. It was not the prettiest wicket ever, but we all know that doesn’t tell you a huge amount. History would suggest here that it is going to be a good wicket for a majority of the game and spin will come into it.”