“He pulls a reverse sweep to a guy who has 600 wickets”, Joe Root admits it’s difficult to keep Rishabh Pant quiet

Admitting that it is difficult to keep Rishabh Pant quiet, England skipper Joe Root said it takes a lot of skill and courage to reverse sweep James Anderson, who has 600 wickets to his name.

This was about Pant as he reverse-flicked Anderson for a four on Day two of the fourth Test and that too when England had just taken the second new ball.

“The way he bats, he makes it difficult for bowlers to build pressure on him. Sometimes he pulls a reverse sweep to a guy, who has 600 Test wickets. So it is quite a skill and a brave move to do and it came off for him and got themselves (India) to a very good position on that wicket,” said Root, referring to the reverse sweep.

Acknowledging Pant’s performance, Root added, “He (Rishabh) is such a difficult player to keep quiet. We came across some brilliant batting at that stage. So I do think that their experience in these conditions probably just outplayed us and was the difference and a big difference in fact in this series.”

“It was a frustrating way to finish the game. We were very much in the hunt and credit to Washington and Rishabh for that outstanding partnership made it very difficult for us. There have been times we had a chance to wrestle the game in our favour, to get on top, just didn’t manage to do it.

Finding solace in the fact that their wicket-keeper Ben Foakes and left-arm spinner Jack Leach performed their roles to the best of their abilities, the skipper said, “Ben’s keeping this series has been excellent, I think, he is arguably the best keeper in the world, he is a fine player.”

“What I am impressed is with how Jack has performed on this trip, he has been brilliant, he has certainly got better and better as the tour progressed and he has been a very attacking option.”

England has been following a rotation policy for some time. When asked if it was rigid, Root insisted that it ‘was all done in the best interest’ of the team. Having the best players available is something that a captain wants but that does not mean that players burn themselves out emphasised Root.

“It is going to be really important that we, with the amount of cricket that we are playing, having a number of guys that are multi-format, we look after everyone and don’t get to the stage where guys are severely burnt out. And we’re losing out on some real talent and also that they are losing out on the enjoyment factor once again,” he said.

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