Joe Root on England’s new style of Test cricket: We are heading into the unknown, there is more come

England defeated India by seven wickets in the rescheduled fifth Test match at Edgbaston, Birmingham and squared the five-Test match 2021-22 series against India 2-2.

Former England Test captain Joe Root celebrating team's victory over India in the 5th Test match.

Former England Test captain Joe Root celebrating team’s victory over India in the 5th Test match. (Courtesy: AP)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • England defeated India by 7 wickets in the rescheduled 5th Test match
  • The 2021-22 series between India and England ended in a draw 2-2
  • Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow stitched unbeaten 269-run stand for 4th wicket

Former England Test captain Joe Root opened up on the team’s new and refreshing style of approach in the longest format, saying they are still heading into the unknown.

England chased down 300 and over runs on the fifth day against New Zealand and India respectively. Head coach Brendon McCullum has changed the way England used to approach red-ball cricket, asking his players to take the aggressive route.

Jonny Bairstow is one such player who has turned McCullum’s thought process into reality with his four centuries in his last three matches (two hundreds each against New Zealand and India).

Talking about the new style of approaching Tets cricket, Root said: “Hopefully we’re still heading into the unknown. And… there’s more to come. But I think we’ve just got to keep trusting and believe in what we’re doing. It’s been amazing for four or so weeks and feel like there’s this potential there for still a lot more as well, which is very exciting.”

At the time of the toss against India in the rescheduled fifth Test match, captain Ben Stokes hinted about the aggressive route as he had said “We’ve done pretty well chasing”. And England lived up to the words and demands of Stokes and McCullum.

In their latest outing, while chasing 378 runs, Alex Lees and Zak Crawley stitched a 107-run opening partnership before Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow took the team to 259/3 at stumps on Day 4 against India. With only 119 runs needed, Root (142*) and Bairstow (114*) gunned down the target in the first session of Day 5 as India failed to break their 269-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Root, who surpassed Virat Kohli and Steve Smith with his record-breaking 28th Test century, said: “It’s like being a kid again. It’s great. It’s like how it felt when I first start playing, and that’s how it should be.

“And hopefully the way that we’re playing at the minute can inspire a lot of youngsters to take up the game and enjoy it. And not just cricket in general, but Test cricket and get excited about that because you know, we all love it, but it’d be great to see the next generation, want to get involved in it and love it as we do.”

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