Joe Root defended the much-criticised reverse scoop that led to his dismissal in the first innings of the third Test against India in Rajkot.

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After India made 445 in the Rajkot Test match, England were in a good position at 224-3 on the third morning. With R Ashwin opting out of the remainder of the Test match (he returned later), England could have batted India out of the Test match.

At this point, Root played one of his trademark reverse scoops off a fast bowler. Only this time, the fast bowler was Jasprit Bumrah, and Root ended up miscuing it to Yashasvi Jaiswal at second slip.

Root’s dismissal sparked a collapse which saw England get bowled out for 319, handing India a lead of 126 runs. Jaiswal then scored a double hundred, and England were bowled out for 122 in their run-chase of 557.

Root was severely criticised for his shot selection as people felt that his dismissal led to England losing the plot, the Test match, and eventually the series in Ranchi. However, Root himself explained the thought process behind his shot selection and backed his decision to go for it.

Speaking to Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain in the Sky Sports Cricket podcast, Root argued that the same shot has got runs in the past: “You know, you could say, [I] didn’t need to play that shot in that moment, but whenever I have played it, you could also say that too. Similarly to when I have dabbed that one down to third man every now and again [from the] top of off stump. It’s a shot which scores me a lot of runs.”

Root argued that he wanted to put Bumrah, the leader of the Indian attack in Ashwin’s absence, under pressure: “It’s one that asks different questions off the bowler and could have changed the complete complexion of that morning with them a bowler down,

“I mean there’s been a lot of talk around Ashwin not being there, if you see off Bumrah. If Bumrah goes at four an over in that spell, they’ve got one less person to turn to under pressure. And we could get ahead of the game even quicker on a potentially deteriorating wicket and put more pressure on India later on in the Test match.

“So yeah, that was my thought process at that time and I stick by them. I look at the execution of it and most importantly, not take that baggage into the next Test match. I think that’s the most important thing.

“You are going to get out at some point. It doesn’t matter how it looks like in the scorebook as we all know. And the most important thing is you put your best foot forward in the next game and try and make sure that you make those big scores that help you win Test matches.”

At Ranchi, Root scored his first hundred of the series in the first innings on a pitch that kept low from the outset, but it wasn’t enough for England to beat India, who found different heroes across the Test to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

Both teams are currently in Dharamsala, preparing for the fifth and final Test of the series, from March 7.