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We will be fully prepared against the challenges from Ravichandran Ashwin: Joe Root | XtraTime

We will be fully prepared against the challenges from Ravichandran Ashwin: Joe Root | XtraTime

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England captain Joe Root on Tuesday said his team will be fully prepared against Ravichandran Ashwin at the Oval.

Xtra Time Web Desk: England skipper Joe Root on Tuesday said he expects an Indian backlash in the penultimate Test and said they’re ready for all combinations including facing the “world class” Ravichandran Ashwin at Oval.

India had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the five-match series after beating England by 151 runs at Lord”s but England came back to level the series with an innings and 76 run win in the third Test.

“A world class team like India, led by Virat (Kohli) I expect nothing less than a response and we”d be naive to think otherwise,” Root said during a virtual press-conference.

“That’s why I think it’s really important that we don’t get too comfortable, we don’t think that we’ve achieved anything at this point, we’ve just got ourselves back to level playing.”

Root added, “His record speaks for itself, he’s a world class player. We’ve seen him score runs and take wickets against us, we know what he’s capable of in Test arena. We will certainly be making sure that we’re prepared for the challenges that he poses coming into this Test match, along with other combinations that they might throw at us.”

“But, ultimately, you can get wrapped up and you can end up playing the player. It’s really important that you just play the delivery and to the situation that you find yourself in. Whoever it is that we face up against this week, it”s about playing the ball that’s right in front of you and not to the reputation.”

Root will have a selection headache with the return of injured pacers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, while their regular wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will miss the penultimate Test to be with his wife, who is expecting their second child.

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In Buttler’s absence, Jonny Bairstow will don the wicket keeping gloves and it remains to be seen if Ollie Pope fills up the vacant spot at his home venue.

According to Root, “It’s fantastic to have both (Woakes and Wood) available and it adds strength to what has been a very confident squad right now. We will see how they pull up and take a call taking account of the conditions.”

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