- India won the 4th test match against England in the 5-test series
- England lost all of their 10 wickets on the last day of the 4th test match
- Root said the defeat was “hard to take for the lads”
The skipper of The Three Lions Joe Root has called his team’s performance “disappointing” and “frustrating” after they lost all ten wickets on the final day and lost against Indian by 157 runs in the fourth Test at the Oval.
It was the second time in the 5-test match series that England capitulated on the last day of the Test.
Root said, “It’s been frustrating today to lose 10 wickets,” and added, “But, I think, actually, where the game is lost – where we could really stamp out authority on things was earlier in the game. I think we should have gotten a bigger lead the first time around.
“It would have been nice to have another 100 runs, actually. And then we’re looking at a very different game.
“We’ve got to be a little bit more ruthless with those first innings runs and with our catches, although some of them were extremely difficult. But it has to be said, at the same time, you give chances and half-chances to world-class players and they take them.
“We’ve seen that throughout this game.”
England turned up on the morning of the 5th day with an overnight opening stand of 77 without losing a wicket and had an outside chance at an unlikely win, given how flat the pitch was.
The opening stand went beyond 100 which only added more credence to the idea, however, India’s bowlers had something else in mind. Led by Jasprit Bumrah’s searing reverse-swinging spell, turned the tide in the visitors’ favour as the entire English team was sent back to the dressing room with just 210 on the scoreboard.
Root said, “It’s disappointing, frustrating, especially turning up today with the opportunity to go and win a Test match. To be bowled out is hard to take for the lads in the changing room.
“Also, we’ll look at how we responded from Lord’s and the performance we put in at Headingley. We’re going to look to do exactly the same at Old Trafford”.
“We had to earn the right to get ourselves in a position to dictate terms. It was always going to have to be the case that we needed wickets in hand. We certainly set things up nicely. Going into lunch it would have been nice to be only one down.
“It was more if we got into a position near tea where we had wickets in hand then we could have definitely looked to put our foot on the gas and put India under pressure. You know when there are wickets in hand you always feel like you can score quickly. India would have probably had to be a little more defensive with some of their fields and they would have had that in the back of their mind that we could chase them down.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t quite take it deep enough and that was a wonderful spell of bowling that really turned the game. They got the ball reversing nicely and they took advantage of it, and we just didn’t have the right answers which is slightly frustrating,” he said.
The last match of the 5-test match series well start after a short three-day break and England, who were kept on the field for 148.2 overs by India in the second innings at the Oval, may well have more injuries to contend with.
England, who will be worried sick over Craig Overton’s injury on the final day are already without Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer, both of whom are recovering from their injuries.
Root said, “It has been a tough summer. There’s no hiding from it. It’s been a gruelling schedule. There’s been some wonderful cricket, some very high, intense cricket at the same time.
“All we can do is make sure we manage the players involved in the squad as best as we can, and those guys throw everything into the game. It has been frustrating, the amount of injuries we are currently having to contend with.
“Unfortunately, it’s part and parcel of the game at the minute and the current climate that we are living in. We just have to make sure we do everything in the best interests of the individual players but also give ourselves the best chance of winning at the same time.”
With India leading the series 2-1, England will have to take the win in Manchester to draw the series. They managed to overturn their last defeat at Lord’s with an innings win at Headingley and Root was confident that his side would be able to do the same in a few days.
“I think we’ve seen things that we’ve got to get better at. We’ve got to keep looking to improve – recognising those key moments in games and enforcing our advantage.
“We did it at Headingley, and we didn’t quite manage to do that this time around. It’s something that we’ve got to be more consistent at.”