Ind vs Eng 1st Test: Was not able to stop smiling when I saw KP batting at other end, recalls Joe Root ahead of 100th test

Ind vs Eng 1st Test: England Test skipper Joe Root on Thursday said that he was not able to stop smiling when he got the chance to bat alongside Kevin Pietersen in his debut Test way back in 2012.

India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The first Test begins February 5 and as Root steps on the field, he will play his 100th Test match for the Three Lions. “I think walking out for the first time wearing an England shirt would be the proudest moment for me in my career so far. I look back walking out to bat for the first time, I see Kevin Pietersen at the other end, he was someone I watched right from the very start, I was not able to stop smiling. I am still living the dream, but this would be the one thing that stands out,” said Root during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

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England opener Zak Crawley has been ruled out for the first two Tests against India due to an injury on his right wrist. “Following the results of last night’s scan, England top-order batsman Zak Crawley has been ruled out of the first two Tests of India versus England series,” England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.

Speaking about the injury to Crawley, Root said: “It is really frustrating, really frustrating for Zak in particular. Walking out of the changeroom, he slipped over and landed on his wrist. We have to look at things from a selection point of view, everything is on the table in terms of selection. We will look at the conditions and the pitch again to have clarity heading into the game. We can go with a number of options, that is the exciting part for us, we have a number of different players who can play at different positions.”

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When asked whether he would promote himself to number three in the first Test, Root replied: “There is a number of different things, we have a number of players to choose from. We look at the balance of the side and those things as well. We will discuss things over the course of today.”

England’s touring contingent arrived in Chennai on January 27 and all the members were in quarantine for six days before they finally began their training. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Rory Burns arrived earlier as the trio did not play the Test series against Sri Lanka.

“It is always great to have Ben back around the squad, we all know he is going to give everything for this team. So, very excited to have both Ben and Archer back around the squad,” said Root.

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“I think all of the sides will look at the series between India and Australia to take some confidence. Huge credit to India for winning in Australia, but teams will see that and they will realise it is possible to win matches away from home. We should embrace this challenge,” he added.