The first Test match between Virat Kohli’s India and Joe Root’s England is of great significance, given that it could go on to set the tone for the rest of the series. A place in the World Test Championship final at Lord’s against New Zealand is also at stake, and will be decided by the end of the four Tests.
The conquest of Gabba and getting the better of Australia after a plethora of setbacks is a not-so-distant memory, and it will definitely bolster Indian team’s confidence.
Ravichandran Ashwin was frequently in the headlines during the series. He managed to get the better of Steve Smith, one of the world’s best batsmen on multiple occasions. After the second Test at MCG, Smith even admitted that he had let the Indian spinner dictate terms and that Ashwin had executed his plans to perfection.
Speaking about Ashwin, Joe Root admitted that India’s premier spinner is fine bowler.
“I won’t go out there trying to look to dominate or defend, I will just play the next delivery. He’s a fine bowler. He has a great record in India and he’s probably full of confidence off the back of that series,” Joe Root said.
Joe Root comes from the cricketing school of thought that believes in playing each ball according to merit. Even in his battle against Ashwin, the English skipper aims to react to each ball independently.
“I’ve played against him before, scored a few runs and he’s probably got me out a couple of times as well. It’s going to be a great battle within the Test match. It’s a contest you want to get the better of. Having a ball-by-ball mentality will probably serve me best throughout,” Joe Root added.
The first Test in Chennai will also be a personal milestone for the England captain. It will be the 100th time that Joe Root represents England in the longest format of the sport.
In 99 Tests, the Yorkshireman has scored 8249 runs at an average of 49.1. The 30-year-old has also scored four double tons and 19 centuries, with the 4th double hundred and 19th ton arriving in the recent series against Sri Lanka, where he was named the Player of the Series.