England v India: Joe Root has 'clear vision' for Test side after series win

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport at Southampton

Captain Joe Root says he has a "clear vision" on how England can improve following their series victory over India.

England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series with a 60-run win with a day to spare in the fourth Test in Southampton.

"It's a really exciting time for me and this team," said Root.

"We've got some guys that are very realistic about where we currently are and where we could get to."

The success over the world number ones extended England's impressive home record to only one home series defeat since 2012.

However, inconsistent results and poor form abroad means they sit fifth in the International Cricket Council rankings.

The win over India came despite several long-standing problems still being some way from being solved.

The top order remains fragile, the slip catching is unreliable and there are still concerns on how England will take wickets when there is little assistance for their bowlers.

England's top order v India
Alastair Cook71092915.57
Keaton Jennings71304218.57
Joe Root71948027.71
Ollie Pope3542818.00
Jonny Bairstow72129330.28

"You're always searching for improvement and throughout this series there have been areas where we haven't been as strong as we would have liked," said 27-year-old Root.

"The way we have responded to those difficulties is the most important thing. There will always be things you tinker with and try to improve on and hopefully this is a step in the right direction."

England won the first and fourth Tests despite batting collapses in both, while they were bowled out in the space of a session for the third time in two years in their heavy defeat in the third Test.

"It's been very difficult for both top orders," said Root. "That is because of the way the pitches have been and there's been some fine bowling from both teams.

"You're always looking to get better and we want to make sure we are starting well with the bat. That's a big focus for us a team and the next opportunity for us to put that right is the fifth Test at The Oval."

On Sunday in Southampton, England set India 245 to win before reduced the tourists to 22-3.

Although captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane shared a stand of 101 for the fourth wicket, India were dismissed for 184 in the evening session.

Moeen Ali took 4-71 to finish with nine wickets in the match, while James Anderson and Ben Stokes shared four wickets.

"I was fairly confident that if we bowled to our potential, which we did today, that we'd have enough runs in the bank to get across the line," said Root.

"As a whole group we performed exceptionally well. That's testament to the skill levels and the attitude of the team.

"It's really pleasing that under that sort of pressure we managed to come good."

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