India vs England: Rest of us need to step up and give Joe Root more support, says Jos Buttler


HEADINGLEY: England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has said that it is a privilege for him to be competing in the middle against India skipper Virat Kohli.

The first Test ended in a draw but India staged an incredible comeback to take the second game by 151 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. Both sides will now lock horns in the third Test, beginning Wednesday at Headingley, Leeds.

“I think it is obvious that the rest of us need to step up and give Joe Root more support. This year, in particular, he always bats well, but he seems to be in the form of his life. He has had an amazing start to the series and hopefully, that can continue and the rest of us can improve our game to give him more support. We certainly do not want to create more pressure on Joe’s shoulders. As a unit, we need to stand up to the level we can,” said Buttler while replying to an ANI query during an interaction with select media organised by Sony Network.

When ANI asked about whether he could have helped skipper Root in cutting short the bumper tactic at Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the second Test, Buttler said: “Yeah, potentially. Sometimes when you have a bowler who can bowl incredibly fast as Mark Wood does against the lower order, it can be to intimidate the lower-order batsmen. We thought it was a good option, obviously, it did not work for us and that was disappointing. But still, I think it can be a good tactic at times and we will try to get our tactics spot on going forward.”

India and England provided an intense spectacle on day five of the second Test as players from both sides engaged in verbals and in the end, it was Kohli’s team that emerged triumphant in an engaging match. After the win in the third Test, India opening batsman KL Rahul said that if the opposition chooses to engage in verbals with his side, then they very well know how to give it back.

“At times, it can be part and parcel of the game. As a viewer, it is interesting to watch but I think, to be honest, it boils down to 22 ultra-competitive guys on the field who are trying to win for their country. At times, there can be ego and some words can be exchanged. Mostly it is in good spirits, but as a side, we are focused on what we need to do as a group to get back in the Test series,” said Buttler.

“Virat Kohli is an incredibly competitive guy, he loves the challenge and competition. To be honest, that is one of the pleasures of playing against him. It is a great battle, it tests you. It is a privilege really to be out there in that competition against him and his team. We enjoy that, we have really competitive guys in our team as well who are desperate to win and it adds to the picture,” he added.

When asked to comment on the current Indian bowling attack, Buttler said: “Yeah, I think they are a fantastic bowling attack and they are right up there with the best attacks in the world. They cover a lot of different bases, they have a lot of experience as well. I think they are a demanding attack to face, they keep on asking you questions as a batting unit, they do not give you much.”

“I always think that Jasprit Bumrah is a fantastic bowler. In all formats of the game, he excels, he bowls with great pace. He creates different angles and he can move the ball. He is a fantastic bowler,” he added.

Watch England vs India – 3rd Test – LIVE from 3.30 pm IST on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) channels from August 25, 2021. (ANI)

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