“Best team in the world in their own conditions” – Joe Root believes England have their task cut out to beat India

Joe Root

Joe Root is excited about the return of Ben Stokes (right) and Jofra Archer (left).

England’s Test captain Joe Root believes his team will need to be at their absolute peak to come up trumps against an Indian side that is rampant at home.

Team India have lost just one Test at home in the last eight years – a staggering record which the hosts will look to continue. Moreover, India’s confidence will be sky-high following an incredible triumph in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under.

However, England too will be upbeat after they whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0 away from home. Joe Root was the player of the Test series, scoring 426 runs in the two Tests at a ‘Bradmanesque’ average of 106.5.

Speaking ahead of the Test series against India, Joe Root believes his team will have to be at its best to beat the hosts.

“We’ve got four very important games against arguably the best team in the world in their own conditions. We’ll have to play right at the top of our game to win out there, but we couldn’t be in a better place to go and challenge them (India),” Joe Root said.

Although England comfortably walloped Sri Lanka, they were not at their full strength. The likes of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer were rested to make sure they are fresh for the all-important Indian tour.

However, Jonny Bairstow didn’t find a place in the England squad for the first two Tests against India; Jos Buttler will only play the first Test before heading back home as part of the visitors’ player management policy.

Nevertheless, Joe Root is buoyed by the return of Stokes and Archer. The England captain also believes Buttler could create a huge impact in the only Test he is scheduled to play during the tour.

“We always want our best players there as often as possible. But because of the world we’re in right now, it’s not feasible, and we have to manage the best we can. But he’s (Buttler) still got an opportunity to make an impact in the series, and sure he’ll be desperate to keep up the good form,” Joe Root asserted.

The first of four Tests between India and England starts at the Chepauk in Chennai from February 5.

Joe Root’s men will have their tails up after mastering the turning pitches in Sri Lanka. However, India would pose a far more formidable challenge.

The hosts are almost invincible in their home conditions. With Virat Kohli back as captain, a near full-strength Team India will fancy their chances of tightening their grip at the top of the inaugural World Test Championship points table.

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