Joe Root on the Test series victory in Sri Lanka: It’s very special
By Sandy - Nov 18, 2018 6:27 pm
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After winning the second Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy and securing the three-match away Test series by 2-0 lead with one match still to go, English Test skipper Joe Root feels it very special.

Joe Root

On the final day of the second Test, Sri Lanka needed 75 runs to win and only three wickets in hands. The hosts only added 17 runs before getting all-out while Jack Leach claimed his maiden Test five-wicket haul (5/83) and Moeen Ali also picked up four wickets in the fourth innings of the match.

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While England won the first Test by 211 runs, they won the second one by 57 runs and secured the Test series for the first time on the Sri Lankan soil since 2001. Moreover, it is their first away Test series victory since their tour in South Africa 2015/16 that was played in December 2015 to January 2016. Also, it is their first Test series victory on the Asian soil, since their tour in India 2012/13.

England cricket team

Securing this Test series with one match still left, English Test captain Joe Root said, “It’s very special. The guys have worked extremely hard. We’ve planned very well for it. We said we were going to play in a certain manner and we’ve backed that up completely in the two games. And that’s probably the most pleasing thing. We’ve stuck to our guns.”

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In this tour, England had a special approach on their batting to face the spinners on the spin-friendly pitches and that was to attack them from the very first ball. This approach has helped the team hugely in this series and Root is hopeful on their future success in their away Test matches.

Root said on that, “You look at the make-up of squad. It fits very well with the make-up of individuals. In this part of the world, on surfaces which spin dramatically, it can be very difficult to trust your defence.

“We saw that as an opportunity to play in that manner in these conditions. It might be different in other parts of world, but the more we can be adaptable, the more we can play situation and read what is happening out in the middle, the more consistent we will become. And hopefully the better we’ll travel around the world.”

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Just a few months back, England was struggling in the Test format but at present, they have the very different situation as the side seems very confident on the field. Root believes the Christchurch Test match in this March was a breakthrough moment for them which they mostly dominated and just missed to win that as they were just two wickets away from the victory and save the series too.

The 27-year-old said, “It felt like we had a breakthrough moment at the start of the Christchurch Test match. Sort of turned a corner. We had a little blip in the first Test versus Pakistan but since that moment we’ve really gone on an upward curve.

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“That was where we stripped things back a little bit and tried to give real clarity. We’d had a really tough time of it up until then that winter and it was a real good chance for us to draw a line under it. Get a clean slate and start something and since that point I think we’ve really looked to continue our improvement and I think we’re seeing our reward now.”