Joe Root reflects on his side's dramatic win over India in the series opener
Joe Root says that having Sam Curran in the side is like having two Ben Stokes’ in the England team.
The 20-year-old all-rounder was named man of the match after taking five wickets and hitting a vital half-century in just his second Test as England beat India by 31 runs in an instant classic at Edgbaston.
England vs India
August 9, 2018, 10:00am
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Stokes himself inspired England on the fourth morning, taking three wickets, including the key scalp of Virat Kohli, and Root sees similarities between his former vice-captain and Curran.
“Brilliant, brilliant game. [He showed] a huge amount of skill and he didn’t seem to feel any sort of pressure with the bat,” Root said.
“He seems to just love the occasion, he loves playing Test cricket and he’s great to have within the side. It’s like having two Ben Stokes’, which is a great thing.
“But obviously, just two Tests in, it’s very easy to get carried away but he’s a very exciting, promising cricketer.”
Meanwhile, despite the prospect of a nail-biting finish, Root said he remained calm and praised the patience of his bowlers as they went in search of the final Indian wickets.
“I felt quite calm, I might not have appeared to be, that’s something to work on!” he added.
“That sort of atmosphere is what it’s about, that’s what makes Test cricket so brilliant. It can throw so many different things at you in the course of three or four days and you have to really think your way around it, stay strong as a group, keeping believing in one another and special things can happen – just like today.
2:21 Pick of action from day four of the first Test as England completed a thrilling 31-run victory
“I knew there was still a lot of hard work to do [after the Kohli wicket]. The temptation then is to chase the game and I think we were quite good at staying calm, trusting the things that had worked for us previously and making sure we didn’t get ahead of ourselves.
“I’m really proud of the group. There was some great cricket within the three and a bit days – from both sides – and I’m sure it made for a fantastic watch.”