Joe Root had faced only four deliveries from Kuldeep Yadav, was dismissed twice in earlier games and his primary aim during the second ODI against India at Lord’s was to “pick as many cues as possible” while facing the left-arm wrist-spinner, who has created quite an impression in the English ranks.
Trying to pick up as many cues possible while facing Kuldeep: Joe Root
“For me, having not faced a lot of Kuldeep for example, it was about picking as many cues up as possible throughout and make sure I don’t get caught in the cold in Leeds, if I start against spin,” Root said at the post-match press conference.
“I have only faced four balls against him in the last couple of games. But ultimately you have got to trust your game and your technique. I felt that the four balls I did face, I thought I was picking him okay.
“So it was more about spending some time out there and trusting the way I play spin. I haven’t faced much of his type of bowling but having a few overs under my belt gave me quite a lot of confidence,” Root said after his 12th ODI hundred ensured a comfortable 86-run win for England.
For Root, playing Kuldeep is a learning process.
“You are always tying to learn as a player and always trying to pick things up when you next play someone, whether individuals or a team. I don’t think it is about looking too far forward in terms of Test cricket just yet with the game on Tuesday,” he said.
However the England Test captain admitted that the confidence gained from facing Kuldeep will help in Test matches, should the youngster find a place in the playing XI.
“Again on the turning surface, you make sure you are playing in the right manner and working things out. It might work out if he (Kuldeep) is in Test squad and it could hold me in good stead. Ultimately it is about making sure when we come to the Headingley game, we are ready and prepared for that,” he said.
Root feels that while playing Kuldeep, he trusted his technique that has given him results all these years.
“You have got to make sure that you stay strong and trust the stuff you have been doing well for such a long period of time. So I was pleased with the way I went about today. Most importantly, we sit here 1-1 in the series and have got a great opportunity in Leeds,” he added.
‘The ruthless side came out’
Having failed in the opening ODI and in T20s before that, Root was desperate to make a significant contribution in his team’s winning cause.
“I was desperate to contribute to us winning. Today was opportunity to do that and I managed to pull through. As a group, we were quite smart about how we got to a good total. We didn’t go too hard too early. The way Eoin Morgan played followed by Dave (Willey) was perfect,” Root said.
He was happy that they read the pitch well and showed ruthless professionalism.
“The surface was going to deteriorate quite quickly and we had the better (chance) of batting on it. But later, the way we went about it with the ball was outstanding. The ruthless side of this (England) ODI team came out today and that was something you have seen more and more of. Hopefully, we can back it up and finish the series strong now,” he added.