Root meets members of India's Street Child World Cup team, discusses Test series

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Chennai, Feb 4 (PTI) England captain Joe Root is expecting an entertaining four-match series against India starting with the first Test here from Friday, insisting that they are well-prepared to take the fight to the formidable hosts.

India are heading into the series on the back of their incredible triumph in Australia.

Root made the comments during a virtual discussion with two members of the India (South) Street Child Cricket team -- Paulraj and Monisha -- that won the Street Child Cricket World Cup at Lord's in 2019.

'We are very excited for the series. It should be really entertaining as India is coming off the back of a brilliant series win in Australia. We will make sure we are well-prepared as we can be when the first Test starts on Friday,' Root said.

The discussion was facilitated by the British High Commission.

All-rounder Sam Curran, who was also present during the virtual meeting, said: 'I think it is going to be a fantastic series, both teams are in good form.

'Australia was beaten by India and we have just come from Sri Lanka where we did really well. Two quality teams coming together is going to be great to watch.' Just a month before England ODI captain, Eoin Morgan, lifted the 2019 ICC World Cup at Lord's, Paulraj and his teammates clinched the Street Child Cricket World Cup, beating the home team at the same ground.

Root and Curran were excited to learn of the experiences of the two young cricketers and their description of picking up the world title at the home of cricket.

The Street Child Cricket World Cup brings street-connected young people from different countries to take part in a mixed-gender cricket tournament.

To travel, the children need birth certificates and passports which gives them official identity. The tournament also provides a platform for the children to advocate for other fundamental human rights, including protection from abuse and access to education.

Monisha and Paulraj grew up on the streets. With the opportunity provided by the Indian Charity Karunalaya, and the UK charity, Street Child United, they are now pursuing formal education and mentoring other street kids.

'You both should be very proud of what you have been doing for the street kids in India and other parts of the world. It shows great leadership from a very young age and you should be immensely proud of the example you have set for people in similar conditions,' Root said.

Root and Curran will donate signed shirts and batting gloves to help raise awareness about street children and inspire others to follow Monisha and Paulraj's example. PTI SSC SSC AH AH