England's Joe Root fights back against India after ruing poor 'execution'

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England's Joe Root fights back against India after ruing poor 'execution'
Root scored a stunning hundred for England
Root scored a stunning hundred for England
Profimedia
England batsman Joe Root (33) said Saturday he was glad to return to form in India with his unbeaten 122, admitting his poor "execution" earlier in the tour had weighed on him.

Root registered his 31st Test century in the fourth Test in Ranchi to pull England out of trouble after managing just 77 runs in the first three matches.

The former captain guided England to 353 all out after the tourists had slipped to 112-5 in the first session on Friday.

Root batted for more than six hours and faced 274 balls in a display that marked a temporary departure from England's attacking "Bazball" style.

"It was nice to finally get some runs in this series," said Root, who has 11,692 runs over 139 Tests.

"It felt like it's been a long time coming, it's been a lean series individually for me. You pride yourself as a senior player... to try and make contributions that put you in positions to win games," he told reporters.

Root was severely criticised after England's third Test loss in Rajkot for sacrificing his wicket to an impetuous reverse scoop shot off Jasprit Bumrah.

His wicket triggered an England batting collapse and the tourists lost their second successive Test, with India now leading the five-match series 2-1.

"Certainly the execution of the shots has weighed on me," said Root. "Not necessarily the selection but the execution, I'm better than that."

He said he was briefly tempted to bring up his century in Ranchi with a similar shot.

"It was a fleeting and selfish thought that left my mind very quickly," Root said. "On that wicket, it wasn't a great option, so no.

Fearless England

England have won 14 Tests out of 21 since skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, nicknamed Baz, took the reins.

Root said their attacking strategy was "not about being aggressive all the time".

"That's not what we try to do as a team. We try to bring the best out of each other and bring the best out of this group of players," he said.

"It's not about being arrogant. Bazball is a word that's used a lot but that's your word, that's not how we look at it," Root said.

England's 434-run defeat in the third Test was their worst since 1934.

However, Root praised Stokes, who succeeded him as captain in 2022, and McCullum for instilling fearlessness in the team.

"There isn't any sort of fear of failure with how they go approach it," he said.

"Shane Warne used to say so what if you get hit for six - you've got another chance, you've got another opportunity and if you take a wicket, the game looks very different.

"And that's something Ben's brought into the way we approach things out there in the field. You've got to take wickets to win games of Test cricket," Root said.

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