The five-match series stands level at 1-1, and now the fourth Test would be played at the Oval, London, beginning this Thursday. Kohli has so far gotten just one fifty-plus score in the ongoing series and James Anderson has managed to dismiss him twice.
“The credit needs to go to our bowling attack, Virat is a world-class player hence the credit needs to be given to the bowling group. We have been able to keep him quiet, it is an extremely good effort from our bowling group and it is something we have to continue if we have to win this series. We have found ways to get him out, he is a fine player and has done tremendous things in Test cricket, we will have to look at ways to get the best players out,” said Root during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“Absolutely, world-class side like India led by Virat Kohli, I expect nothing less than a response. We would be naive to think otherwise, it is important that we do not get to deluded. We have gotten to the level playing field, we have to work harder now. If we find ourselves ahead of the game at any stage, we have to consolidate,” he added.
With the score reading 215/2 at the start of the fourth morning, India would have hoped to continue the remarkable comeback they had started scripting on the third day of the third Test at Leeds on Friday. But it wasn’t to be as the England bowlers came out all guns blazing and wrapped the game up in the opening session itself on Saturday to register an innings and 76-run win.
“I think it was a brilliant performance, nice template for us to work with really. The challenge is to replicate it and go one better. From a bowling perspective, I think we were flawless, we hit the right lengths early on and we managed to do it for long periods of time. With bat in hand, Headingley was our best outing till now and hopefully, we can go on,” said Root.
“I think more than anything, we are very pleased with how we have sort of grown into this series. We have worked extremely hard to make the series 1-1, now is where the hard work really starts. We will look to go again and keep getting better,” he added.
Jos Buttler would miss the fourth Test due to the birth of his child, hence Jonny Bairstow would don the wicketkeeping-gloves.
“Jonny Bairstow, we all know what he is capable of with the gloves. He has done it for a long period in his international career, he has never let anyone down. His record is very good as a keeper, he is really looking forward to the challenge. Jos Buttler has been our number one keeper for a long period now and I think he has made the right decision to be at the birth of his child. We hope everything goes well and I hope he enjoys the moment,” said Root.
“You are always learning, I always look to learn and grow as a captain. But as a team, one thing we took away from the Lord’s Test was that we have to be the best version of ourselves and we do things our way. We do not get sucked into playing someone else’s game and we go about things in our manner. We did that in Headingley and it is important we implement that in the series,” he added.
Talking about his own form and batting, Root said: “My decision making probably, till now, it has been really good. I have managed the innings really well through the course of this series and this will be the challenge at the Oval to start again.”