Tuesday, 26 October, 2021

‘England-India series could be an epic’

‘England-India series could be an epic’

England coach Chris Silverwood believes his side's ongoing contest with India could prove to be one of Test cricket's most memorable series.

The teams travel to London for next week's fourth Test at the Oval all square at 1-1 in a five-match campaign after a rain-marred draw in Nottingham was followed by an excellent last-day win for India at Lord's before England hit back with a dominating innings-and-76-run victory in Leeds on Saturday.

India have already been involved in one classic encounter this year when an injury-hit squad recovered from the humiliation of 36 all out in the first Test in Adelaide to complete a 2-1 series triumph in Australia.

For England, the modern-day benchmark remains a 2-1 Ashes triumph at home to Australia in 2005 and Silverwood, asked Sunday if the current series could hit those heights, told reporters: "You'd hope so. Maybe it will be one of those series that we'll look back on and go 'wow, that was fantastic'.

"We know India are a very good side. They're difficult to beat, but what we're showing is we've the class to do that and match them."

England skipper Root has now led England in 55 Tests, four shy of immediate predecessor Alastair Cook's national record.

"I think he is growing and learning all the time," said Silverwood of Root. "That's a great characteristic for a captain to have: to reflect back honestly and make a difference."

"I think there's potential there for him to be one of the great England captains, yes. It's great that Joe has got that record, no-one can take that away from him now. Obviously, we're going to go to Australia and if we win there we can have this conversation again."

Meanwhile Ollie Robinson, only given an England debut in June, took a Test-best 5-65 on Saturday in an attack missing the injured Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone, with star all-rounder Ben Stokes still absent due to mental health issues.

"To be honest I feel lucky that I've got the players there that I can call upon to come in and do the job that they have," said Silverwood.