Mumbai: While Virat Kohli and Joe Root are two of the best modern-day batsmen, the latter was wholesome in his praise for the Indian Test skipper, who scored 147 (not out), and another centurion Murali Vijay (136).
“Both deserved the scores they got. They played very well. Both have a good balance between defence and attack and on a wicket like this and the sort of form they were in, it is difficult to bowl to them," said Root after India ended Day Three at 451 for 7, here on Saturday.
“He (Virat) is very ambitious, driven and emotional. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I can’t say that he is intimidating but it is good to play against such a player as it brings out the best in me as well,” added the Englishman.
On a track, which is known to assist the spinners, England opted to play an extra seamer instead of a specialist tweaker. Root admitted that England should have gone ahead with an extra spinner.
"In hindsight, we would have liked to play another spinner but we have to look forward and not think about things which are out of our hands. We thought there was a bit more for seamers. But the nature of this wicket and surface is different,” said Root.
Although the Yorkshireman felt that England should have grabbed the half-chances, he refused to come down heavily on Adil Rashid, who dropped Kohli’s catch and instead urged the England batsmen to be positive like they were in the first innings.
“It was quite frustrating that we couldn't take the wickets at the back end there. It just proves that when you create those half-chances, you got to take them. Most important thing is that we look forward, look to tomorrow and we take those three early wickets when we get those opportunities. It will be silly now to look back at today and think what chances slipped through,” said Root.
"Rashid put down a very difficult catch on the follow through. I can't blame him. It was a marginal half chance, at best. He (Kohli) played exceptionally well today. We have to just accept that,” added Root.
"When it comes to batting, we will look to put pressure back on them and be positive just like we were in the first innings. If we can do that well, then we have got a really good game on our hands," he said.
Root, who chipped in with two wickets on Saturday, also played down him taking over captaincy duties from Alastair Cook.
“Cooky is doing a fine job (as a captain) and it is important to think about level the series. I will have to think about it (the captaincy) when that happens,” concluded Root....