Frustrated Root bemoans lost opportunity
ENGLAND captain Joe Root was left exasperated when his team slumped to a 157-run defeat in the fourth Test against India, placing it at risk of losing both home summer Test series for the first time in 35 years.
Root said his side, which had a 99-run lead after its first innings, wasted a superb chance to win the Test at The Oval and take a 2-1 series lead.
Instead, England heads into Friday’s final Test, at Old Trafford, needing a win to save the series.
It also leaves England’s plans for this summer’s Ashes teetering.
In 12 Tests this year, England’s record stands at four wins, six defeats and two draws, although two of those wins were against a weak Sri Lankan side.
Instead of finding the strongest batting line-up available to it, England has now settled on the least weak.
Two of the three England bowlers who can bowl at 145km/h are injured.
Jofra Archer will definitely missing the Ashes tour, while Mark Wood is being wrapped so heavily in cotton wool between now and the first Ashes Test in Brisbane that he was not risked for the fourth Test against India, on a pitch that was crying out for his pace.
Having resumed on 0-77 in pursuit of a tough target of 368, England lost all 10 of its second-innings wickets in 51.4 overs.
India paceman Jasprit Bumrah finished with the remarkable innings figures of 2-27 from 22 overs.
“It’s disappointing and frustrating, especially turning up today with the opportunity to go and win a Test match,” Root said.