“There’s the theatre and everything else surrounding the game. We’ve got to make sure that we play the game how we want to play and we look after that as best as we can, and not get too distracted or drawn into anything that’s not honest,” said Root.
England looked in control of the proceedings on the morning of the last day of the second Test after dismissing the dangerous Rishabh Pant.
But their strategy of rattling tailenders Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah with a barrage of bouncers backfired after the pair put on an undefeated 89-run partnership which allowed India to garner a lead of 272 runs and thus press for a win.
“We’ve got to be genuine to ourselves, genuine to how we are as individuals and how we are collectively, and be as good as we can.
“Virat’s team will play how they play, I just want us to go out and be the best version of ourselves,” Root said.
“We have got three massive games to play in this series, there’s a lot to play for. And you know we’re desperate to bounce back strongly.”
Meanwhile, England have recalled T20 specialist Dawid Malan to bolster the top order. England also have little option but to hand the inexperienced quick Saqib Mahmood a Test cap. The 24-yearold Lancastrian has played just seven One-day Internationals and finished with 14 wickets playing against Sri Lanka and Pakistan earlier in the season.
“He couldn’t be in a better place to potentially play Test cricket,” captain Root said of Mahmood. “He came out of the One-day series against Pakistan in July as probably the most experienced player and the go-to seamer we went to under pressure. It just shows how far he has come and it’s great to see that strength in depth.”
Mahmood comes in with a reputation of being a quick learner, and with James Anderson, his senior pro at Lancashire around, he could be more than handy with his pace.
Asked if he had spoken to Stokes about possibly returning for the rest of the series against India, Root said, “No, I’m not having conversations with Ben about his return to cricket.
“For a long time, he has put this team and England cricket ahead of several different things and I think it’s important for people to respect that, and I certainly do as England captain.”