India vs England, 1st Test: Root lauds English bowlers for taking 20 wickets in alien conditions

Chasing a daunting 420-run target, India folded for 192 with only Virat Kohli (72) and Shubman Gill (50) managing to resist the England attack on a deteriorating pitch. Jack Leach and James Anderson were the destructors in chief as England claimed a 227 runs win and lead the four-match Test series 1-0.

Root, who was adjudged the player of the match, has now won six Test matches in Asia, behind only South Africa’s Graeme Smith (8 wins from 21 Tests) and West Indies’ Clive Llyod (7 from 17). Records aside, Root gave credit to his bowlers for claiming 20 wickets in the match.

“To take 20 wickets in alien conditions is a brilliant job from the bowlers. We knew from the outset it was going to be a good wicket. The first partnership got us going. Different stages guys came in and contributed,” said Root.

Anderson and Leach seal emphatic victory for magnificent England

Despite winning the first Test by a huge margin, Root is expecting India to come back hard in the remainder of the series. And when asked about their second innings declaration which never came, Root said the idea was to get to 400 and put India’s win out of equation.

“It didn’t quite materialise like that. But having spent some time out there, I knew the wicket had changed drastically and knew it was going to change again. Wanted to take India’s win out of the equation. As a bowling group we didn’t want to worry about the run rate.”

Leach on comeback after Pant hammering

Anderson tilted the game in England’s favour with his exceptional spell, snaring three wickets, and Root acknowledged the effort from the veteran pacer.

“Standing here, having won the first game is very pleasing. The way he (Anderson) goes about things, challenging himself constantly and getting better all the time even at 38.

“He’s a great role model to the rest of the group. His skill level is right up there with anyone we’ve ever seen,” he said.

Root and co will return to action on Saturday (February 13) for the second Test against India at the same venue in Chennai.

(With PTI inputs)

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