We have set a benchmark now: Root

Chennai, Feb 09 (PTI): England have set a benchmark for themselves with their monumental victory against India in the first Test, gushed captain Joe Root while admitting that competing on spin-friendly tracks in Sri Lanka prepared them nicely for this tour.
England inflicted on India a humiliating 227-run defeat to go 1-0 up in the four Test series but the visiting skipper has no doubt that the home team has the kind of players who can exact revenge.
“I’m very proud of the way we’ve played this week. We have set a benchmark now, we’ve got something to work for to compare ourselves. Still there are areas we can improve on. We can still get better,” Root said at the post-match press conference.
“We know that India are an extremely good team, especially in these conditions. And they’re a very proud nation as well. They’ve got some exceptional players so they’ll come back hard.”
The skipper, who made a brilliant 218 which was the cornerstone of England’s massive first innings total, mentioned the role played by the Sri Lanka series ahead of India assignment.
England had won that series 2-0 with Root leading from the front with his big hundreds.
“It certainly served us well, coming out here, having faced the volume of spin that we have, having the confidence of winning. And playing on a similar kind of wicket, wasn’t the same by any stretch, but the tempo of the cricket that you play in the sub-continent I think served us really well coming into this game.”
“The pleasing thing for me was to set a big first innings run, and we delivered it. We said we needed to be smart about how we’re going to take 20 wickets, and we delivered it.”
Root said the challenge before them now is to repeat the magnificent performance.
“Can we replicate that, can we go one better, can we keep looking to improve as a team and can we take it on individually that makes a difference.”

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