England, at the end of day four’s play were in a position of ascendancy, restricting India to six down. On top of that, they even started the fifth day’s play on a high, sending back Rishabh Pant, restricting India to 194/7. However, the decision-making post the dismissal was appalling, with the hosts insisting on bouncing out the Indian tail.
While the Indian tail were on the receiving end of some barrage, they took the attack the bowlers from thereon, putting on a show for the fans. Mohammed Shami, in particular, was scintillating in his 70-ball 56 with help from Jasprit Bumrah (36), allowing India to set a target of 271 for the hosts. Joe Root, in the post-match press conference admitted that a lot of the loss was on his shoulders as a captain.
"I don't think we dealt with that well enough tactically. It put us in a difficult position. A lot falls on my shoulders as captain. We went from a position where we could win to being behind," Root said.
"Everyone is hurting. It's very raw right now. I feel the same as every single player in that dressing room: it's a missed opportunity."
Root also insisted that the entire batting unit has to work extremely hard in getting better and reckoned that a lot can change over the course of the next three Tests in the series.
“I don’t think there’s any hiding from it we do need to get better. We need to score heavier, but the guys all know that, they’re working extremely hard and there’s a lot cricket still to be played. A lot can happen within three games, we’ve found ourselves in positions like this before within series,” he added.
The Yorkshire man also cleared the air, stating that Virat Kohli’s emotions on the sleeve approach was not crossing any lines.
“Fair play to Virat and his team, they’ve jumped on something emotional that’s given them an edge and something to cling on to tactically. Virat’s got his style and his way of doing things that’s probably contrasting naturally to the way I play my cricket.”
However, Root did not point fingers at the team and instead reckoned that the team has to get better at building the big partnerships, to have an impact on the game.
“And when you talk about batting, it’s a collective. There have been plenty of occasions in my career when others have carried me through games. We’ve just got to keep being better at building those big partnerships.”