Root: Pitch not to blame for England defeat
England captain Joe Root says team "outplayed" by India on tough surface as they lose second Test by 317 runs; skipper feels his men can […]


England captain Joe Root says team "outplayed" by India on tough surface as they lose second Test by 317 runs; skipper feels his men can learn from the way the hosts found control with the ball and batted calmly; third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:01am 0:56 England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India. England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India. Joe Root refused to blame the spin-friendly Chennai pitch for England's thumping defeat to India in the second Test - and has urged his side to learn from the difficult conditions they faced. England were spun out for 134 and 164 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on a dusty surface as India wrapped up a 317-run victory on day four to level the four-match series at 1-1.Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin completed hundreds for India and Root says the hosts showed England a template for scoring runs on unhelpful tracks for batsmen. Root says his side must learn from the challenging conditions they faced in Chennai (Pic credit - BCCI) "I wouldn't say it was a good pitch but it made for very exciting cricket and it was not the reason we lost the game. We were outplayed in all three departments," said the England skipper."For us, it's a bit of an education. It was a surface that spun a huge amount and bounced more than we anticipated but we should take that as a learning and be better for it the next time we experience conditions that are similar."The toss was an important one to win - but it wouldn't have guaranteed us a win either. India showed you can score runs and found a way of managing a very tricky surface."Our batters need to learn from how India rotated strike, while what I took from how they played was how calm and unflustered they were. When a delivery really misbehaved, they didn't waver from their game-plan." Ravichandran Ashwin (pictured) and Rohit Sharma scored centuries for India in the second Test (Pic credit - BCCI) Root - whose side will be looking to bounce back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 with their six-match winning streak in overseas Tests having been snapped - also felt his bowlers could have been more frugal on day one when India reached 300-6 after electing to bat."We have to find ways of building pressure for long periods of time with the ball, bowling six balls at one batter, which India made very difficult for us."Can we string maidens together and force wickets through very disciplined passages of play? I think India did that better than us."On day one we could probably have been a bit tighter and squeezed the game, making it hard for them to score freely. The four-match Test series is tied at 1-1 heading into the third Test, a day-night fixture in Ahmedabad from February 24 "We have to learn from the opposition, who played very well, but we are 1-1 in the series and there are two very important games to come."We are very excited about that because of how well we played in the first game. We are very much in this series. It's set up very nicely."We have to stay level. We don't get above our station when we win and it's not all doom and gloom when we have tough weeks."It is very important we stay level as a team. We have to learn but that is one thing we have done well in recent times so hopefully we can take that into the rest of the series." 0:52 Root says he understands Moeen Ali's decision to leave England's bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root says he understands Moeen Ali's decision to leave England's bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root - who also confirmed that all-rounder Moeen Ali will miss the rest of the series having opted to fly home - said Ben Stokes only bowled two overs in the game for tactical reasons, not due to injury."Ben is fit and able to bowl but, on that surface, you look at the overs of seam bowled and it was minimal," said Root."I'm sure Ben will have an impact on this series with the ball as he did in the first game. He can grab big moments and turn them on their head."Pressed on whether he wanted to include the rested James Anderson, who had starred with a scintillating spell of reverse-swing bowling on day five of the first Test, Root added: "It was discussed. "But we need to look at the series as a whole. The pink-ball game looks an exciting opportunity for someone like him to have a real impact."Follow text commentary of the day-night third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 8.30am on Wednesday, February 24. .
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