England captain Joe Root reacts to India's heavy defeat to New Zealand

England captain Joe Root says the World Test Championship has been ‘thrown wide open’ by India’s heavy defeat to New Zealand.

Virat Kohli’s side were outplayed by the Black Caps in a two-Test series last month, losing by ten wickets and seven wickets as they failed to extend their lead at the top of the World Test Championship.

India remain 64 points ahead of second-placed Australia and more than 200 above England but Root’s side can reduce the gap with two victories over Sri Lanka later this month.

The two teams at the top of the World Test Championship table at the cut-off point early next year will face off in the final at Lord’s in June 2021.

‘New Zealand turning India over twice has thrown things wide open,’ Root said before travelling to Sri Lanka for the two-match series which starts on March 19.

‘With these matches and then six Tests at home in the summer this feels like a great opportunity to give ourselves a real chance of pushing for one of those top two spots.’

England visit Sri Lanka having clinched an impressive 3-1 win in South Africa in their last series.

Kohli criticised India’s performance after the 2-0 defeat to New Zealand, telling reporters: ‘We were completely outplayed. We were not positive enough, we were not brave enough.’

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