Importantly, though, it was only England's third defeat of the Bazball regime, which meant that you couldn’t really dip your pain in acid and write disdainfully of Brendon McCullum, the coach who preaches hyper-aggressive Test cricket or Ben Stokes, the captain who made himself conspicuous with his rash first-day declaration.
England captain Joe Root on Saturday termed England’s series levelling performance in the third Test against India at the Headingley as a ‘perfect storm’.
“It was almost the perfect storm, everything seemed to fall our way. Perfect little nicks to the keeper got us off to a great start, it was a brilliant bowling performance. We found our length on the wicket, and exploited it really well,” Root said during a virtual interaction with the media after the end of the third Test, which England won by an innings and 79 runs to level the five-Test series 1-1. The first Test had ended in a drwa.
The 30-year-old batsman, who also became England’s most successful Test captain having led his country to 27 wins — one better than Michael Vaughan — said that the opening partnership played a very important role in the win.
“That opening partnership [between Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed] to set things up was almost a turning point in the game for me,” he said.
“A substantial first-wicket partnership was exceptional and credit to those two lads. Under pressure, to come out and perform like that and get us to 135-0 was brilliant. It really set the game up and gave the rest of us the opportunity to go and make that big first innings score that me and Silvers (head coach Chris Silverwood) harp on all the time,” Root added.
The England captain also praised his bowling attack.
“It was a clinical performance. We took advantage of the conditions on day one, thought we bowled exceptionally well,” he said.
While Root has led England to 27 Test victories, Vaughan has led the country to 26 Test wins, followed by Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook with 24 wins each.
“I’m living my boyhood dream of captaining England. Something I dreamt of doing from when I was really small. We have a great group of players, who are very talented and dedicated to becoming better all the time,” said Root.
“Couldn’t be more proud for going past Michael [Vaughan]. But you don’t do that on your own as a captain. It is down to the group of players and the coaching staff as well. It’s all one big thing. You’re the one making the decisions, but they are the ones going out and time and time again putting in performances. I’m really proud of the way they have done that this week,” he added.