England succumbed to another crushing defeat at the Narendra Modi Stadium on 6th March, meaning that the Joe Root-led outfit were consigned to a 3-1 reverse against India. More worryingly though, much in sync with their recent troubles against spin, England collapsed in the third innings, with Dan Lawrence and Joe Root emerging as the only batsmen to score 30 or more runs.
After the game, Joe Root was asked about the potential obstacles a batting side has to overcome in such conditions, especially against someone of the ilk of Axar Patel, who ended the series with 27 scalps.
Joe Root has been dismissed by left-arm spinners 23 times in Test cricket
Additionally, in recent times, there have been instances where top-quality batsmen, including Joe Root, have struggled against left-arm spin – the reasons for which the English skipper tried to explain, while noting that it was one of those trends that seem to engulf Test cricket very often.
“I certainly think the DRS has helped. We have to play with the bat a lot more, that is just how it is. We can’t defend with the front pad. As always, there will be trends in Test cricket and they will go up and down. But as a player and as a team, you still need to maximize your opportunities and India did that well this time,” Joe Root responded to a question from Sportskeeda.
Furthermore, he shed further light on how difficult Axar Patel made it for the English batsman, stressing that the pace and trajectory the Indian deployed was a perfect fit for the pitches on offer.
“I do think as well, that this series Axar has been very accurate and relentless and has asked very good questions. Some balls have skidded, some have spun big. We have to find ways to manage it. When somebody is bowling at that pace and the ball is turning, it is hard to get down as well. As soon as we felt that we were getting on top, we lost a wicket and that was frustrating,” Joe Root added.
Courtesy the victory, India confirmed their spot in the final of the ICC World Test Championship, where the Men In Blue will clash swords with New Zealand. England, meanwhile, would hope that a change in formats brings about a change in fortunes, with the Three Lions beginning their T20 adventure against India on the 12th of March, 2021.