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England batsman Joe Root has called on the national team to “capitalise on what we’ve started” and end the five-Test series against India with a win at The Oval.
England currently hold a 2-1 lead heading into the fifth Test and Root wants the side to finish the summer on a high.
“You come out of two games where we’ve played some really strong cricket and there’s a lot of confidence,” Root told Sky Sports. “A lot of guys are putting in some really strong performances and as a side we’ve pulled really tight. We needed to do that after Lord’s, it obviously wasn’t a very good performance as a team, but I think we’ve done that exceptionally well.
“I think the key now is to go into Friday and continue that, to build on what we’ve done so far and remember this is just the start of where we want to be. We can’t rest on just two Test wins, we have to capitalise on what we’ve started and really cement what we have done to take this series home.”
Root also noted that all the “new faces” in the side have done extremely well over the course of the Test series.
“There have been a lot of new faces coming into the team, some guys have had to do slightly different roles to what they’ve been used to and I think it’s just coming together nicely, sometimes these things take a bit of time.
“I don’t think we can look back too much, obviously what has happened, happened, but we’ve played a lot of cricket since then and we have to take confidence from the good things and learn from the stuff we haven’t done so well.”
Root is also hoping that pace bowler James Anderson takes the eight wickets he needs to surpass Sir Ian Botham as the country’s highest wicket-taker in Tests.
“He’s obviously very skilful, his record suggests that,” Root said. “He’s been exceptional for us over the last couple of games especially and we’re going to need him to be exactly the same over this next game.
“He’s one of those blokes who comes up every game, he fronts up and he always gives his best, those are the sort of guys you need in the side.”