ENG vs IND | Rahul’s approach was different, I tried to score runs off balls in the channel, states Joe Root

English skipper Joe Root, who made a memorable ton against India in the ongoing Test, opined that his approach was to score runs on deliveries in the channel unlike Indian opener KL Rahul. He added that he tried to put back the pressure on the bowlers and cashed in on loose deliveries.

There were a lot of talks about Joe Root’s inconsistency at home in the lead-up to the series. But he shunned his critics in style and scored a fifty to go with a brilliant hundred in the second innings to keep England stay afloat in the game. The hosts were under considerable pressure when the English No.4 walked to the middle on day four after English openers got out cheaply.

But then Root put on a batting exhibition and counter-attacked to propel England’s lead past the 200-run mark. It was quite contrasting to KL Rahul’s approach in the game, who has been hailed for his patient batting. Reflecting on his century, English skipper Joe Root stated that, unlike KL Rahul, he was trying to score runs even to balls in the channel. He further added that he was looking to put the pressure back on the bowlers without taking many risks.

“I felt like I got my feet moving well. I had a proactive mindset from the start of the game, knowing there were going to be balls with your name on it. It wasn’t about taking too many risks, but putting the pressure back on the bowlers and capitalising on the loose deliveries, not letting that one ball with your name on it worry you too much. I think [KL Rahul]’s approach was different to mine, he left the ball a lot more. I tried to use the balls in the channel to score off,” Root told Sky Sports.

The world is going through a pandemic and that has restricted the entry of spectators in cricket stadiums. But for the ongoing series, they have been allowed again and Root felt that it was very special to bring up his hundred amid such buzz.

“To be able to enjoy it with a crowd again was really special. There was a lot of relief in it, I had had a hairy 5-10 minutes before that. It was special in the context of the game, and hopefully we can make these 150-odd runs last as long as possible and pick up these remaining nine wickets.”

The Yorkshire batsman has been England’s mainstay in 2021 and in the absence of Ben Stokes, his role had turned even more significant. The good thing for the Three Lions is that he reckons that he’s close to his best in what has been tough times for the batting unit.

“I felt in good rhythm, felt like I was somewhere back near my best. It’s been a challenging time for us as a batting group, we’ve seen some signs of promise in that second innings, guys getting starts. On this surface, there’s only been a couple of guys who’ve managed to get in. It’s really important we remember that when we go in to bowl today.”

India have been set a target of 209 runs and on the final day, they will need to score 157 runs with nine wickets in hand to clinch the opening Test. However, Root asserted that if they take wickets in a bunch, things can change rather quickly.

“We’ve just got to make those runs seem as far away as possible for a long period of time, but we’ve got to make sure we have catchers in. You can easily get 2-3 wickets in no time. It’s important we start well, we’re relentless in good areas, and when those chances come, that we’re ready for them and we take them.”

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