India vs England 2016: Joe Root admits England have picked the wrong team in Mumbai
Prior to the Mumbai Test, plenty of former England players wanted Alastair Cook’s side to stick to their strengths by fielding four seamers and two spinners. Upon seeing the way in which the Wankhede surface is behaving, they seem to have nonchalantly changed their tune. While things often appear clearer in hindsight, Joe Root has admitted that their bowling combination might be wrong.
Beginning the third day at 146/1, India have surged to 451/7 on the back of centuries from Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli. As things stand currently, they already enjoy a 51-run advantage in the first-innings with a few more likely to come as their skipper remains unbeaten.
At the end of day press conference, Root lamented the visitors’ seam-heavy bowling attack on a spin-friendly pitch whilst sharing an insight into his surprisingly productive spell in the post-lunch session.
The 25-year old felt, “Leading into the game, we thought there might be a bit more in it for the seamers. But it's not quite worked out that way so far. In hindsight, I think we would have liked to play an extra spinner. But it would be silly to think about things that are out of our hands now, we've just got to make the best of what we've got.”
With only two specialist spinners at their disposal, England could not balance their workload. Seeing as conditions were quite conducive to turn and bounce, skipper Alastair Cook under-utilised his seamers and did not show enough smartness in rotating his bowlers.
Both Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes got to bowl only eight overs each even as Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid collectively sent down 99 overs. As a result, the spin duo struggled with fatigue and bowled too many loose deliveries towards the latter part of the day.
Cook‘s hand in Root taking the ball
Root tried to share the burden by bringing himself on when Cook left the field for a brief break. He went on to make a discernible impact with the ball and gave the visitors a fleeting chance by picking up two quick wickets. However, according to him, it was the regular captain who wanted a change in the proceedings.
The part-time off-spinner revealed, “As far as the decision to bring me on, it was initiated by Cooky (Cook) before we left the field. So I can't take any credit for that. It always seems to work that way – the lads put some really hard yards in all day, and you come and bowl some filthy part-timers and sneak a couple of wickets.”
Another major talking point of the day was the opportunity given by Kohli when he was batting on 68. But, Rashid was not able to hang on to the difficult return catch and India eventually regrouped from 315/6 to end at a comfortable position.
Root surmised, “After that middle session, the way we got ourselves into a pretty good position, it was quite frustrating we couldn't take the wickets at the back-end there. It just proves that when you create those half-chances, you've got to make sure you take them.”
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