sport

Root talks up English spirit

England have arrived in Kolkata "on a massive high" after their famous series-levelling victory against India in Mumbai last week.

Alastair Cook's tourists defied the expectations of many by responding to an opening defeat in Ahmedabad to win by 10 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium - and as the third Test of four looms at Eden Gardens, doubts are beginning to surround the home team instead.

Young opener Joe Root was beaten to a Test debut at the start of the series by Nick Compton, but is determined to keep himself ready to do his country proud should the chance arise after all.

Either way, though, he is delighted to be part of a tour on which England may be about to make history by winning a series here for the first time since long before he was even born.

"Obviously, we're on a massive high at the minute," said the 21-year-old Yorkshireman.

"Everyone's in a really good place, and really looking forward to what's to come here in Kolkata."

England's morale has never dipped - but after making good use of his few days away from the camp, by scoring a big hundred for the shadow Performance Programme tea, Root senses a growing confidence.

"When I left the side, I think we were in day three (at Mumbai), so everyone's morale was pretty high when I left.

"But to come back with a win under our belts is fantastic."

As for his own preparation, in case he is needed in one of the last two Tests, Root has good reason to be happy so far. Having contributed so significantly to the EPP's victory at the DY Patil Stadium, he said: "Everyone needs time in the middle, especially when you've not been playing.

"It's just to have the confidence that, if something does go wrong, if someone does go down, I've got a weight of runs behind me to stand me in good stead.

"I'll just be doing everything I can in the nets, working with all the coaches to try to improve my game and take as much from the tour as possible - but also to make sure if required I'm ready to go.

"You get exposed to these conditions, and it's just great to have to adapt and try to get what you can here - and keep it on board, if required later on in the series.

"You've just got to make sure you're absolutely ready if an opportunity arises."