More pressure on favourites India, says England captain Joe Root ahead of Test series

Written by Vishwas Gupta

England captain Joe Root said he cannot wait to get to action in the 4-Test series against India, adding the pressure is on the home team who begin as favourites. India and England meet in the first of the 4-match series at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Joe Root made his debut in Nagpur in 2012 and he will be playing his 100th Test for England when he steps on the field to lead the team from Friday, February 5 at Chepauk. Root conceded that he didn’t understand the enormity of beating India in India when he was on his first tour to the Asian country back in 2012 but he knows how daunting it is to overcome the Indian challenge in their own backyard.

However, Root said England shouldn’t be scared of India’s home record and that the visitors have the firepower to challenge Virat Kohli’s men in the upcoming series.

England have headed to India on the back of a confidence-boosting 2-0 Test series win in Sri Lanka. Root led the team from the front, scoring 426 runs in 2 matches, hitting a double hundred and a match-winning 186 in the two Galle Tests. On the other hand, India have returned to play Test cricket at home after clinching an emphatic 2-1 series victory against Australia in Australia.

“To get the opportunity to play India off the back of them beating Australia in Australia – what a scalp that would be for us. There will be more pressure on them than us – they have an expectation to uphold that record in their conditions,” Root said.

“It’s a big one, we’re all aware of that because it’s a very difficult place to come and win. But that doesn’t scare us and it shouldn’t. We certainly have the tools to win these four games. It should be really good fun.”

Root, who will be achieving a major milestone in the first of the 2 Chennai Tests, said beating India in India would be one of the biggest achievements of his career as Test captain. Notably, England were the last team to beat India in India when they trumped an MS Dhoni-led side 2-1 in 2012. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India are yet to lose a Test series at home.

“As a captain I think it would be. When I came into the team in 2012 I played a very small part in that amazing series. I don’t think at the time I appreciated how hard it is to win in these conditions,” Root added.

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Vishwas Gupta