Joe Root scored 333 runs in the three Tests against India – no other English player has more than 146
Captain Joe Root says England’s batsmen should “not be afraid” of the field or Indian bowlers in the final test in Ahmedabad, which starts Thursday.
England, who lost 2-1 after losing the last two Tests, haven’t scored more than 178 points in the last five innings.
“The most important thing is that we go into it with confidence,” said Root.
“We shouldn’t have any scars from the last two tests and play controlled but fearlessly.”
England’s two defeats – 317 runs in the second test in Chennai and 10 wickets in the third test in Ahmedabad – were carried out by India’s nuts who took 36 of the 40 wickets on pitches with a lot of support.
Hitting was particularly difficult in Ahmedabad. The third test ended in two days and only two players reached 50.
According to Root, for the fourth test, which was to be played on the same floor, but this time during the day and with a red ball, the surface looked “similar” to the field of the third day-night test when a pink ball was used.
While the pitches were a source of media debate, Root reiterated that his team never “groaned” about them.
“Everyone disagrees about what a good wicket is,” he said.
“As a player, all you can do is make sure that you play what lies ahead of you better than your opponents. That is our challenge for this week.”
India’s captain Virat Kohli said he “did not understand” why the pitches had come into focus.
“There’s always too much noise and entertainment on spinning tracks,” said Kohli, whose team will advance to the final of the Test World Championship if they avoid defeat.
“If you win a test on the fourth or fifth day, nobody says anything, but if you win in two days, everyone pounces on the same subject.
“What is the idea behind the continuation of this narrative and what is the purpose of continuing this one-sided conversation?”
India will do without the fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who left the squad for personal reasons.
England will likely remember off-spinner Dom Bess after being overlooked in the last two Tests.
That would mean leaving out at least one of the pace bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer and the prospect of others from that trio being rested as part of England’s rotation policy.
There are fewer options to change the lineup as Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence were dropped for the third test, though tinkering with the order is an option.
The warehouse in England was affected by illness but Root said all the players had trained, with two back room workers being the worst affected.
“I managed to get over a Dehli belly or an Ahmedabad belly,” Anderson told the Tailenders podcast.
“It is unlikely that we will start with the same team balance, so that would mean more spin.”