Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow fight back after England lose three wickets

By Sports Desk January 25, 2024

England lost three wickets in quick succession against India’s spinners after the tourists enjoyed a bright start to the first Test in Hyderabad.

At lunch the tourists were 108 for three, with Yorkshire duo Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the midst of a repair job following India’s triple breakthrough.

A bullish opening stand of 55 between Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett gave England the upper hand for the first 45 minutes, but once the seamers gave way to the slow bowlers it was a different story.

India picked up three wickets for five runs in the space of 21 balls, Ravichandran Ashwin picking off both set batters and Ravindra Jadeja making short work of an uncomfortable Ollie Pope.

The game was moving away from England quickly, as it has many times before in this part of the world, but they found stability in their experienced middle-order pair.

Root survived an lbw scare off his second ball to reach 18no and Bairstow, resuming life as a specialist number five after ceding the wicketkeeping gloves to Ben Foakes, found a nice flow for 32no.

With a side containing a solitary seam option and four spinners, England captain Ben Stokes would have been mightily relieved to win the toss and surprised nobody by choosing to bat.

The hosts devoted the first eight overs to pace but despite a hint of swing for Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, Crawley and Duckett took their chance to get on top with a handful of boundaries.

Crawley produced a pair of sweet on-drives off, with Duckett riding the odd play-and-miss as he flashed eagerly through the off-side.

At 41 for nought, India skipper Rohit Sharma had seen enough and sent for spin. Almost instantly, things began to happen. Duckett swept a couple of fours before he became the first wicket of the series, pushing forward with a straight bat and falling to a tight lbw as Ashwin squeezed one through.

Pope, playing his first innings since the second Ashes Test in June, followed close behind. He lasted 11 uncomfortable deliveries before nicking Jadeja tamely to slip for one. There was a big shout against the newly arrived Root moments later, but after a long delay DRS appeared to show a thin edge before impact with the pad.

England’s relief lasted just a matter of seconds with Crawley driving Ashwin straight to mid-off, where Siraj scooped a low catch. At 58 for three, it was a tense time but Bairstow’s arrival at his former IPL home ground shifted the tone.

Related items

  • 'It is our destiny to win this World Cup': Chase says win over United States a testament of Windies intent to go all the way 'It is our destiny to win this World Cup': Chase says win over United States a testament of Windies intent to go all the way

    West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase believes it is his country's destiny to win the T20 World Cup following their nine-wicket victory over fellow co-hosts the United States.

    The 32-year-old took 3-19 as the USA were bowled out for 128, with Shai Hope hitting an unbeaten 82 from 39 balls as the Windies leapfrogged England in the race for the semi-finals. 

    "It is our destiny and our goal to win this World Cup," Chase said after the victory. "We want teams to know they have to beat us to win this World Cup."

    Rovman Powell's side equalled the record for the West Indies' most wins in a single calendar year (W9 in 2021) in T20Is, and face South Africa in Antigua next Monday. 

    The triumph continued their impressive T20 record at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, and they have now won five of their previous seven T20Is at the venue. 

    The last and only previous time they won more consecutive games in Barbados was a four-game streak from May 2010 to March 2014, which has got the West Indies believing they can claim a third title. 

    "It's very special," captain Powell said. "Kensington brings special memories for us. We had no better opportunity to come out and play some good cricket."

    The USA still holds on to the hopes of qualifying for the competition's semi-finals but knows their hopes of progression lie elsewhere. 

    Having lost their opening Super 8 fixture to South Africa, they will be hoping the Proteas can do them a favour in defeating the West Indies but would need a comprehensive victory of their own against current champions England. 

    "We lost wickets in clusters," captain Aaron Jones said. "I don't think we ever truly recovered from that. It was bad in the middle.

    "We'll go back to the drawing board and come back hard against England on Sunday."

  • Hope shines as West Indies thrash fellow T20 World Cup hosts USA Hope shines as West Indies thrash fellow T20 World Cup hosts USA

    West Indies hammered their fellow T20 World Cup hosts the United States by nine wickets to put themselves in the driving seat for a semi-final spot.

    Having lost their opening Super 8s match to England, the Windies bounced back in style in Barbados on Friday.

    Shai Hope's unbeaten 82, which came from 39 balls and included eight sixes, three of which came on the bounce, saw West Indies surpass the target of just 129 within 11 overs.

    Hope was recalled to the team after an injury to Brandon King, but will be a tough drop for Rovman Powell now.

    The USA had made a promising start, but slipped from 51-1 to 65-4 in the space of three overs, with Andre Russell the pick of the Windies' bowlers (3-31). Andre Gous (29) and Nitish Kumar (20) were the best scores on the board, as they were skittled out for 128.

    Hope, Johnson Charles (15) and Nicholas Pooran (27 not out) then wasted little time in securing a margin of victory that sends West Indies above England in Group 2, while their net run rate is also superior to South Africa's.

    The Proteas are West Indies' final opponents, while defending champions England face the USA in their last Super 8s match.

    Data Debrief: Windies in fine fettle

    West Indies have now won nine of their 11 T20Is in 2024, after winning eight games in each of 2022 and 2023.

    Their tally of victories this year matches 2021 as their best effort in a single calendar year.

    They have also won five of their last seven T20Is at Kensington Oval, and their last three in a row.

  • Buttler: Powerplay cost England against South Africa Buttler: Powerplay cost England against South Africa

    England captain Jos Buttler believes his side lost their match against South Africa in the powerplay after losing by seven runs in the Super 8s.

    South Africa registered their second-most productive powerplay in the tournament so far, with Quinton de Kock proving invaluable with 49 runs during that time.

    In England's powerplay, they managed to get just 41 runs, their lowest such tally of the year, and though they pushed late on, they came up just short in the chase.

    Buttler admitted that in hindsight, it was South Africa's start that cost England in the end, despite giving themselves a reachable target.

    "I'd say it was lost in the powerplay," Buttler said. "Quinton de Kock came out and played with really good intent, and we couldn't really match that. I think we were about 20 behind them at the end of our first six.

    "The wicket did slow up, which allowed us to pull it back in the middle, and we were happy to be chasing 160. But yeah, that innings was the difference.

    "It's still a good pitch but a little slower than we probably expected. I'm proud of how we responded with the ball after their good powerplay, and Brook and Livingstone had an excellent partnership there to take us so close.

    "At one stage, we were favourites but T20 cricket is never that simple, and credit to South Africa for closing it out.

    "We know we're still in it. We played well today; we just didn't quite get over the line."

    De Kock, who finished on 65, was named Player of the Match for his impressive turn – he equalled the fastest half-century of the tournament (22 balls, level with USA's Aaron Jones), and broke his own record for the most runs in a powerplay by a South Africa batter at a men's T20 World Cup.

    South Africa remain unbeaten in the tournament so far and have put themselves in a good position to qualify for the semi-finals, and De Kock was pleased with how they got the win on Friday.

    "My plan was to just bat as long as I can and score as many runs I can," De Kock said. "That was pretty much it. I don't really carry or lose confidence; I just get on with my game. So that is what I focused on.

    "I thought we bowled really well, especially in the powerplay. We controlled it really nicely. Overall, we were pretty solid and to defend on 160 on a decent pitch is a good effort."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.