Joe Root took the blame for England’s defeat to India in the second Test at Lord’s saying he got things wrong tactically as his side slipped 1-0 down in the five-match series.
England appeared strong favourites to win when Ollie Robinson dismissed the dangerous Rishabh Pant and tailender Ishant Sharma early on day five to leave India 209-8 and just 182 runs ahead.
However, India’s No 9 and 10, Mohammed Shami (56no) and Jasprit Bumrah (34no), then cracked an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 89 as England mainly persevered with short deliveries to no success.
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India skipper Virat Kohli declared shortly after lunch, setting England a target of 272 in 60 overs for victory, before the hosts crumbled to 120 all out in 51.5 overs, with seamer Mohammed Siraj claiming his second four-wicket haul of the match as the tourists triumphed by 151 runs.
England captain Root, who was out to Bumrah for 33 in his side’s second innings, said: “I think a lot falls on my shoulders as captain. Tactically I could have done things slightly differently.
“The [Shami and Bumrah partnership] was the pivotal moment of the game, without question, and I don’t think I dealt with that well enough tactically. It put us in a difficult position.
“Looking back, I’d look at some of the field placings and the way that we bowled. We could have looked at maybe attacking the stumps a little bit more frequently and using the short ball as more of a surprise.
“We have to give them some credit. They scored in unusual areas and made it hard to set conventional fields and you were trying to manage taking wickets but not letting the game get away from us.
“But I would have taken a little bit more time and probably brought more modes of dismissal into the game sooner.
“When the ball got softer, it didn’t seem to move as much laterally as with the newer ball but we probably underestimated how useful challenging a lower-order player’s defence can be.”
England then suffered an all-too-familiar batting collapse, losing openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley for ducks as Root came in at No 4 in the second over.
Root, Jos Buttler (25) and Moeen Ali (13) were the only players to reach double figures, with the two other members of their top seven, Haseeb Hameed and Jonny Bairstow, making nine and two respectively.
Root is averaging 128.66 in the series but the England batsman with the next highest average is Bairstow, at just 29.50.
Root said: “I expected us to bat out so it is disappointing that we didn’t manage to. Credit to India but I don’t think there is any hiding from the fact we need to get better.
“We need to score heavier. The guys will know that. They are working extremely hard. We need to be better at building big partnerships.
“We did it well for periods in this game in the first innings but we need to do it for longer and make it count, make it last. We also need to be better at starting our innings, finding a way into the match.
“India have been a very good side for a long period of time. I think we are in a slightly different position. We are trying to get to where they are. We need to find ways of improving.”
The third Test takes place at Emerald Headingley in Leeds from August 25 and Root has urged his team to use the time in between to learn from their “mistakes” and come back refreshed with the series still very much alive.
England vs India
August 25, 2021, 10:00am
He added: “I feel exactly the same as everyone in the dressing room. It was a missed opportunity as we could have gone on and won this game.
“There are three games left in the series and a lot can happen. We have found ourselves in similar situations before and come out on top.
“It’s really important we learn from what we have done well and mistakes we have made and turn up at Headingley ready to go and win that game.
“We need to take this week and then come back refreshed and ready to go again. We need to stay calm. It’s not time to panic.”
Watch day one of the third Test between England and India, from Emerald Headingley, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10am on Wednesday, August 25.
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