Galle, January 21
India’s come-from-behind series win over Australia was a “great advert” for Test cricket and his side will have to be at their “absolute best” to challenge them at home, said England captain Joe Root.
An injury-hit India, who were also missing some star players like skipper Virat Kohli, registered a three-wicket win in the series-deciding fourth Test to clinch the four-match series 2-1, a month after facing the ignominy of being bowled out for their lowest-ever score of 36 at Adelaide.
“It was a fantastic series to watch from start to finish with some brilliant cricket played,” Root told reporters on the eve of England’s second Test against Sri Lanka here.
“India showed great fight, character and resilience and depth in their squad for guys to come in and perform the way they did.
“As a cricket fan watching Test cricket it was a great advert for the game and for us going out to India it makes that tour even more exciting now.”
England will tour India to play four Tests, beginning in Chennai on February 5. The Test series will be followed by five T20Is and three ODIs.
“I expect India to be full of confidence. They are a very good team and know how to get the best out of their conditions. We are going to have to be at our absolute best but that is an exciting prospect for us,” Root said.
“We will be going there to fully expect to win that series – but we have a lot of hard work to do before we get there (with the second Test against Sri Lanka).”
England had won the first Test against Sri Lanka by seven wickets.
Star players Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, who were rested for the series against Sri Lanka, are expected to be named in the England squad for the India tour.
“You speak to any side in the world, those two guys coming back into it would give the squad a huge boost and it’s certainly the case for us,” said Root.
“We (will be) excited to see them back in and around the squad. Hopefully they are full of energy and ready to go when they get here.” — PTI