Joe Root, a debutant, believed his team was in a “good” position. Piyush Chawla, meanwhile, backed his team to come back strongly on the third day of the final Test between India and England here.
Root, who compiled a disciplined 73 in his first Test, said, “I am delighted to get the opportunity and score a few runs. We are in a very good position, so hopefully we can return tomorrow and do more damage in the morning.”
On his experience in the middle, Root said, “I was very relaxed when I went in to bat. I got myself into a good frame of mind and tried to get myself ready. I concentrated on keeping my footwork precise, work very hard. It was a very defensive field and I just tried to keep things simple, adapting, evaluating conditions.”
Root lavished praise on James Anderson. “Jimmy bowled fantastically great stuff. It will be a big day tomorrow morning and hopefully we can keep bowling. He has bowled fantastically well throughout the series.” He refused to pick any particular Indian bowler as being the most difficult. “That’s a bit unfair. All bowled very well. It would be unfair to pick any one out.”
For Chawla, it was a welcome change from the domestic circuit. “If you consider the type of wickets on which we played the Ranji Trophy matches this season I would say I did well. We were playing mostly on seaming tracks so I would say my performance was good in that sense.”
The pitch, contended Chawla, “played a little better today, it was coming on to the bat when we were bowling in the morning. Let’s see how it plays on the next three days, maybe tomorrow onwards it (the ball) will start turning a bit more.”
The leg-spinner was optimistic.
“We still have two quality batsmen at the crease and they are having a good partnership and seeing the ball really well. Let’s hope for the best because the way they are middling the ball we can have a good session tomorrow. If we manage to play around 30-45 minutes without losing a wicket then we will be in a good position.”
Chawla called the batting failures a passing phase. “It is not that our batting has flopped big time as we have managed to get around 300-350 in every match. It has not affected the bowlers because as a bowling unit we have done well.”
Chawla gave credit to the English batting too.
“In the morning we aimed to get them under the 300-run mark, but Root and (Matt) Prior batted really well. When we broke that partnership we recovered really well. Root looked mature and the way he batted and the amount of time he spent at the crease he never looked uncomfortable there.”