Prospect of drawn series in India leaves England with ‘loads to play for’, captain says

Joe Root believes England would have achieved something “phenomenal” if they win the final Test against India.

Although the possibility of winning the series, or reaching the final of the World Test Championship, has gone, Root is adamant that winning in Ahmedabad – and therefore securing a 2-2 draw in the series – would “be a brilliant achievement” and leaves his team with “loads to play for” going into the fourth Test.

While Root’s ambition may, on the surface, appear relatively modest, it is worth viewing in context of India’s long-term home record. India have not lost two Tests in a home series since 2012 – when England won 2-1; the last time they were beaten at home in a series – and have only lost that many three times (against Australia in 2004, and South Africa in 2000) since the end of 1984. To draw the series 2-2, therefore, and complete a six-game run in Asia with four victories might reasonably be seen as a significant achievement.