England’s Test match play over the past three years has frustrated their attempts to develop into the world’s best team. Since the beginning of 2015, they have won successive games just three times and often followed an impressive victory with a crushing defeat. Yet, Joe Root feels their performance at the Oval in the third Test could be a watershed moment for his team.
“We weren’t good enough [at Trent Bridge] and I think it was important that we sat down after that and found a way to come back from that,” said Joe Root ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Thursday (August 3). “The response the guys came up with was excellent.” He admitted that conditions had dictated a slightly different approach but he was pleased with the way his batsmen batted in the first innings which had very few dismissals where they gave their wickets away.
England’s task is to replicate the performance at the Oval this week in Manchester – something they have been unable to do in recent times. Before their victory in the third Test, their last three Test victories have been followed by defeats. “It’s obviously a new challenge this week, and a slightly different frame of mind going into it,” said Root. “There is no reason why we can’t do that play well again.”