England a spinner light, admits Root


Joe Root acknowledged England had reason to rue their team selection after India seized control of the fourth Test in Mumbai.

Centuries from Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli helped the hosts reach 451-7 on day three, in reply to England's first-innings total of 400.

India were wobbling at 307-6 after Root struck twice in as many overs with his part-time off-spin, but Adil Rashid then offered Kohli a reprieve and the latter went on to make England pay in an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 87 with Jayant Yadav.

Root ended up bowling eight overs, as many as Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes, on a pitch offering appreciable turn, while Rashid and Moeen Ali sent down 89 overs between them - prompting criticism of England's decision to omit a third spinner in favour of pace bowler Jake Ball.

"Leading into the game, we thought there might be a bit more in it for the seamers - but it's not quite worked out that way so far," said vice-captain Root.

"In hindsight, I think we would have liked to play an extra spinner. But it would be silly to think about things that are out of our hands now - we've just got to make the best of what we've got."

In addition to Rashid failing to take a caught-and-bowled chance when Kohli was on 68, England missed an opportunity to remove Jayant on Saturday, when Root spilled an edge off James Anderson at second slip.

"I think after that middle session and the way that we got ourselves into a pretty good position, it was quite frustrating that we couldn't take the wickets at the back end there," Root added. "It just proves that when you create those half-chances, you've got to make sure you take them.

"The most important thing is we look forward, we look to tomorrow [Sunday] and we take those three early wickets when we get those opportunities. And when it comes to batting, we look to put pressure back on them and be positive just like we were in the first innings. If we can do that and do that well, we've got a really good game on our hands."

Root's own wickets came with Cook off the field, but he insisted the captain had a hand in his introduction to the attack.

"As far as the decision to bring me on, it was initiated by Cooky before he left the field - so I can't take any credit for that," Root insisted.

"It always seems to work that way - the lads put some really hard yards in all day, and you come and bowl some filthy part-timers and sneak a couple of wickets."