Root makes India suffer

Joe Root had played six Test matches against India before the first Test here on Wednesday and his tally was 611 runs; and his 124 in the first innings increased his total to 735 runs which took him past the likes of M.J.K.Smith (639), Colin Cowdrey (653), Allan Knott (685), Michael Atherton (689) and Matt Prior (730).

Joe Root in action against India in Rajkot.

Joe Root is turning out to be a batsmen who likes to put the Indian attack to the sword. The Yorkshire-born batsman had played six Test matches against India before the first Test here on Wednesday and his tally was 611 runs; and his 124 in the first innings increased his total to 735 runs which took him past the likes of M.J.K.Smith (639), Colin Cowdrey (653), Allan Knott (685), Michael Atherton (689) and Matt Prior (730). Root is placed 18th in the list of runs scored by English batsmen against India and that’s led by Alastair Cook with 1735 runs with five 100s and seven 50s. There are 10 batsmen who have scored 1000 plus runs.

Root’s scores leading up to the Test here are: 73, 23 not out in India, 154 not out,13, 66,3, 56,77 and 149 not out. When asked how he feels making it a habit of scoring against India, he said, "Yeah, it's a nice start to this series. We have something to build on now and it was a great day of cricket for us. Hopefully tomorrow, Moeen (Ali) and (Ben) Stokesy can go on and make a really big score, big partnership and take us into a really good position going into the second innings.’’

England as a batting unit probably had the best day out in recent times and Root admitted that it was a good pitch at the SCA stadium. "Yeah, we have to take advantage of what was a pretty good pitch today which might change through the course of five days. It was important to start well and I thought when me and Moeen (Ali) were playing, it was really good today. It's something that going forward will give us confidence and hopefully it will give the rest of the guys some confidence as well. I thought everyone who went out there looked comfortable until their dismissals against the spinners and that should be a good thing for us moving forward.’’

Talking about pressure he said, "There is pressure always. When you're a senior batter within the side, you're expected to score runs and you just have to get on with it and learn to deal with it throughout the tournament. I don't think that will ever go away; the more and more you play cricket, the more and more Test matches you play, you're going to be expected to do well. So far, the start of the trip, it's really pleasing. Hopefully it can give me confidence going into the rest of the series.’’

Root has played matches in South Asia and the Gulf and having got his first century in India has pleased him the most. "It was very satisfying. Purely to have done it in Asia; in Dubai especially I felt like I made starts and there was obviously a lot of talk going into the series and to go on past 50 as well, I've made a habit of getting out between 50 and 100, so to get a 100 early on is really pleasing.’’

He was disappointed with his dismissal, "I was just disgusted with the shot, I didn't really give an Arsene Wenger approach, don't really see what was happening. Having seen the slow-mo replay, it does look out, but when you speed it up it looks a bit strange. But at the end of the day, I was really lucky that an umpire's call with an lbw earlier on. We have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes and just get on with it.

Root said he did not have any specific plans for Ravichandran Ashwin. "More than anything, as soon as anyone lets out the ball, you just got to play what's coming at you. We tried to make sure we used both sides of the wicket. Not just score with the spin, but try and do against if the opportunities arose. Make it hard for him to bowl one length. Just keep it as simple as that. If you look at people's records, that can change very quickly. You got to actually respect these guys for being successful for a long period of time and even for the previous series. But when it comes down to you, you just got to play what is in front of you. And we did that really well today. Challenge is to do it for all five games. It's a good start today, hopefully we can build on it and take the confidence forward.’’