England were “outplayed” by India in the second Test but can still win the crucial series, captain Joe Root said Tuesday.
England’s run of six straight wins in foreign Tests came to a crashing halt in their 317-run defeat in Chennai that levelled the four-match series 1-1.
“We have been, let’s be honest, outplayed in all three departments this week,” Root said after the game.
India scored more than 600 runs on a turning pitch on which two England innings could not even match India’s first innings of 329.
Root said he believed the toss was critical, but did not use the state of the pitch as an excuse for the defeat.
“The fact is that India showed that you can score runs on it (the pitch) and found a way of managing on a very tricky surface so we have got to learn from that,” said Root.
“The thing that stands out is that India made the most of the opportunity and we didn’t perform well enough in the first innings, get close enough to them, or apply enough pressure.”
The result after their 227-run victory in the opening Test was a tough reality check.
England were bowled out for 134 in their first innings and, chasing an impossible 482, lasted 54.2 overs to make 164 in the second.
India’s spinners led by Ravichandran Ashwin took all 10 second innings wickets.
Root will also have to make do without all-rounder Moeen Ali in the third Test, which begins in Ahmedabad on February 24, after he decided to return home.
England must not get “too far above our station” when they win, nor “see it as a doom and gloom when we have tough weeks like we have this time round,” said Root.
“We’ve got to take bits from it, add it to our own games and come back better for it as well,” said Root.
“So as long as we stay level, keep working hard, we’re very much alive and kicking in this series”.
The series will decide who will meet New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June.
England need to win the series 3-1 while a 2-1 win would be enough for India.
Australia, who have no games left, could also sneak through depending on the results.
Root said qualifying for the WTC final would be a tough ask as the process had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a very tricky thing,” said Root.
“We will have played more Test cricket than any other side in the competition. Probably more games away from home as well. Is that a disadvantage or not?”
The England captain added: “All we can do as players and as an England team is try to win as many games as we can to give ourselves the best chance.”