SOUTHAMPTON: England captain Joe Root said he had dropped down the order in the ongoing fourth Test against India at Southampton because he felt it was in the best interests of the team.
Root has been struggling for runs at number three this series but it was still a surprise when, after opener Alastair Cook was out in England’s second innings on Saturday, Moeen Ali came in ahead of Root, who took the number four position.
Ali, recalled by England for this match, had made 40 batting at number seven in the hosts’ first-innings 246.
But Ali regularly bats at number three for Worcestershire, and it was in that spot where he made a double century against Yorkshire last week.
“It was a bit of a spur of the moment decision,” Root told Sky Sports on Sunday.
“We were in a position where Moeen is in great form batting at number three for his county and just thought it was a good opportunity for him to go out there and play in his own manner at number three for England.”
“It suits the situation,” added Root. “I felt that batting at number four in this situation would get the best out of myself and give us a better chance of getting up towards 230 (or) 250. It’s worked pretty well to now.”
Ali was dismissed for just nine in England’s second-innings 271, but Root made an encouraging 48 before he was run out.
“To an extentm it might not be Moeen that got the runs, but part of being a team is you all do your bit, and the fact I’ve come down to number four this innings worked in a way,” said Root.