Root: Blame me for wretched England loss

By Sports Desk August 16, 2021

Joe Root insisted he should take the blame for England's second Test capitulation against India.

England captain Root again top scored in each of his side's innings, as he did in the series opener at Trent Bridge, including an imperious 180 first time around that put the hosts in the ascendancy.

But it was his leadership in the field that was found wanting, most notably when Mohammed Shami (56 not out) and Jasprit Bumrah (34 not out) put on an unlikely and game-changing partnership of 89 for the ninth wicket as India declared on 298-8 – effectively placing victory out of reach for England with a target of 272.

Root (33) was then the only member of England's top five to reach double figures as openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley both went for ducks, setting the tone for 120 all out and a 151-run victory for India, despite some belated resistance from Jos Buttler (25).

"A lot of this defeat has to come on my shoulders. I could have done things differently this morning and we went from being in a very strong position to being behind the game," Root said at the post-match presentation, Ollie Robinson having left India eight down with their lead still below 200 inside the opening hour.

"I take responsibility for that as captain. I need to learn and be better tactically if we find ourselves in the same position."

England were fired up when Bumrah came to the crease, apparently keen on some retribution after the India paceman gave James Anderson a working over, although Root did not think this was a factor in the game getting away for his men.

"No, I don't think it was it," he replied. "I just got a few things slightly wrong, and credit to them for the way they batted."

India celebrated deliriously as all four of their seamers shone, with Mohammed Siraj (4-32) claiming the key wicket of Buttler and bowling James Anderson to complete the job.

"The intensity is what you expect with two competitive teams," said KL Rahul, named man of the match for his first-innings 129 after Root invited India to bat.

"It only shows how much each team wants to win. We don't mind a bit of banter – and if you go after one of our guys, all 11 of us will come right back at you.

"That got us going and the bowlers were really pumped to go out and have a crack at them."

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