Joe Root finds form to steady England after frantic start against India

By Sports Desk February 23, 2024

Joe Root made a timely return to form as he and Ben Foakes defied an unpredictable pitch to stabilise England after a frenetic start to the fourth Test against India in Ranchi.

On a cracked surface offering significant assistance for India’s bowlers, Ben Stokes’ dismissal to a Ravindra Jadeja grubber left England on 112 for five after debutant Akash Deep’s three-wicket haul.

But Root registered his first fifty in seven innings – dating back to last summer’s Ashes – and went to tea on 67 not out out of England’s 198 for five, with Foakes unbeaten on 28 in an unbroken stand of 86.

Root received criticism for his first-innings dismissal in Rajkot which was a sliding doors moment in England’s heavy defeat, and the Yorkshireman put away his reverse ramps and settled for a more patient, orthodox approach to blunt India’s quicks and spinners.

Conditions eased in the second session after England’s top-order was given a stiff working over, with Stokes electing to bat despite describing the surface as “interesting” and “like nothing I’ve ever seen before” this week in a series his side currently trail 2-1.

As well as uneven bounce, Crawley and Ben Duckett had to contend with sideways movement and the openers were beaten on the outside edge more than once. Crawley then had a major reprieve when his off stump was sent cartwheeling by an in-ducker but Deep’s overstep briefly denied him a maiden Test wicket.

Having taken just four off his first 16 balls, he took 28 off his next 16 after driving and twice clipping for three successive fours before a monstrous six off the expensive Siraj.

Duckett, though, feathered behind after being done on the angle from Akash Deep, who then had Ollie Pope lbw two balls later despite England’s number three advancing down the pitch. An India review was successful and they also queried a not out decision when Root was struck on the pad first ball.

Root had managed to get just outside the line but England were three down as Deep atoned for his no-ball by clipping the top of Crawley’s off-stump for a run-a-ball 42.

The out-of-form Jonny Bairstow, averaging 17 in this series, was purposeful and especially fluent against Siraj, late-cutting the seamer for four then crunching two more boundaries in his next over. When Bairstow slog swept Ravichandran Ashwin for six, it appeared it would be the Yorkshireman’s day.

However, Ashwin tempted Bairstow (38) into another slog sweep which he missed. Umpire Rod Tucker was unmoved by an lbw appeal but another review vindicated India and Ashwin had his 100th wicket against England.

England’s cause worsened on the stroke of lunch when Ben Stokes was leg-before to an ankle-high shooter from Jadeja, the England captain trudging off even before the umpire raised his finger.

A frenzied morning gave way to a more sedate start to the afternoon, with Root and Foakes settling for steady accumulation as Jadeja and Ashwin operated in tandem. There were 13 fours and two sixes in the morning but England did not get a boundary until the 82nd ball of the second session.

Root was particularly strong behind square on both sides of the wicket, judicious on front and back foot, although both he and Foakes – whose first four came off his 66th ball – were kept honest by the odd one keeping low.

After Root moved to a 108-ball fifty, India burned their final review on a frivolous lbw appeal off Foakes as the England pair batted out a wicketless session.

Related items

  • Harpy Eagles confirmed as champions after West Indies Academy beat Barbados Pride by three wickets; Hurricanes, Volcanoes ends in draw Harpy Eagles confirmed as champions after West Indies Academy beat Barbados Pride by three wickets; Hurricanes, Volcanoes ends in draw

    The West Indies Academy completed a tense three-wicket win over the Barbados Pride on Saturday’s fourth and final day of their seventh round West Indies Championship clash at Coolidge.

    The Pride, who began Saturday 228-5 off 92 overs leading the Academy by 138, carried on to post 308 from 113.3 overs to leave the Academy needing 219 for victory.

    Raymon Reifer, who entered Saturday on 43*, went on to make 82 off 160 balls while Demetrius Richards contributed 46.

    Ashmead Nedd finished with 3-80 from 33.3 overs to support Joshua Bishop who ended with 3-59 from 30 overs.

    The Academy then needed 67.4 overs to reach 219-7 and secure the win.

    Openers Rashawn Worrell and Kadeem Alleyne led the way with 63 and 52, respectively, before Carlon Bowen-Tuckett guided his team home with an unbeaten 27*.

    Captain Kraigg Brathwaite took 3-28 from 10.4 overs while Jomel Warrican took 3-62 from 24 overs.

    Full Scores: Barbados Pride 153 all out off 39.5 overs (Jonathan Drakes 33, Kevin Wickham 27, Shian Brathwaite 26, Johann Layne 3-23, McKenny Clarke 3-26, Joshua Bishop 2-23, Ramon Simmonds 2-43) & 308 all out off 113.3 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 90, Raymon Reifer 82, Demetrius Richards 46, Kevin Wickham 35, Joshua Bishop 3-59, Ashmead Nedd 3-80)

    West Indies Academy 243 all out off 61.3 overs (Ackeem Auguste 76, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 49, Johann Layne 38, Akeem Jordan 4-76, Raymon Reifer 2-32, Jair McAllister 2-40) & 219-7 off 67.4 overs (Rashawn Worrell 63, Kadeem Alleyne 52, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 27*, Kraigg Brathwaite 3-28, Jomel Warrican 3-62).

    The game between the Windward Islands Volcanoes and Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Queen’s Park Oval ended in a draw.

    On a rain-shortened fourth and final day, the Windwards eventually reached 296-7 off 94 overs, 120 runs short of their target after starting the day 112-1.

    Full Scores: Leeward Islands Hurricanes 300 all out off 82.5 overs (Mikyle Louis 100, Jewel Andrew 68, Jeremiah Louis 43, Ryan John 3-67, Gilon Tyson 2-33) & 294 all out off 79.2 overs (Keacy Carty 65, Mikyle Louis 33, Kavem Hodge 3-60, Gilon Tyson 3-91)

    Windward Islands Volcanoes 179 all out off 53 overs (Johann Jeremiah 42, Shamar Springer 33, Daniel Doram 6-34, Hayden Walsh Jr 3-21) & 296-7 off 94 overs (Stephan Pascal 63, Johann Jeremiah 51, Shamar Springer 35, Daniel Doram 4-65, Hayden Walsh Jr 2-46).

    These results confirmed the Guyana Harpy Eagles as champions of the West Indies Championship for the second straight season. The Harpy Eagles dismantled the Jamaica Scorpions by an innings and 125 runs inside three days at Sabina Park in round seven.

  • David Bedingham smashes rapid hundred as Durham take control at Worcestershire David Bedingham smashes rapid hundred as Durham take control at Worcestershire

    David Bedingham smashed 138 from 99 balls as Durham took a stranglehold on their Vitality County Championship Division One clash with Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

    The home side had been bowled out for 184 as Ben Raine, Matthew Potts and Paul Coughlin claimed three wickets each to give the visitors a 60-run first-innings lead.

    Bedingham’s knock, which included 13 fours and eight sixes, and 75 from skipper Scott Borthwick helped to increase that advantage to 379 by stumps on day two as the promoted side reached 319 for five.

    Bowlers Craig Overton and Migael Pretorius staged a remarkable 139-run partnership to put Somerset in a commanding position against Nottinghamshire.

    The pair came together at 314 for eight and remained at the wicket until the South African fell for 77. Overton was then left stranded on 95 when last man Shoaib Bashir was dismissed for a duck with the score on 454.

    Nottinghamshire, who made 193 on day one, were 38 for one in their second innings as they reduced the deficit to 223 runs.

    Earlier Somerset opener Sean Dickson had added just two to his overnight score of 70 and Tom Banton contributed 83, with Calvin Harrison’s four for 93 the pick of the bowling.

    Fletcha Middleton and Nick Gubbins put on an unbeaten 124 for the second wicket as they attempted to drag Hampshire back into touch with Warwickshire at Southampton.

    Gubbins had reached 67 and Middleton 61 by stumps with their side 140 for one after the visitors were finally bowled out for 455, thanks in large part to England spinner Liam Dawson’s haul of five for 146 in 40.1 overs.

    Rory Burns and Dom Sibley forged an opening stand of 147 as champions Surrey closed to within 59 runs of Kent’s first-innings total on day two at Canterbury.

    Sibley will resume on 87 from a total of 185 for one after Tom Lawes and Cameron Steel each took three wickets as the home side were bowled out for 244.

    Skipper Tom Westley hit 81 to help Essex take control of their showdown with Lancashire at Chelmsford.

    Having resumed on 68 for one in reply to the visitors’ 146, the hosts made 377 with opener Dean Elgar going for 79 and George Balderson taking three for 75, and the Red Rose county finished the day on 10 for one in their second innings, a deficit of 221.

    In Division Two, Leicestershire opener Marcus Harris plundered a double-century as Derbyshire were left with a mountain to climb.

    Harris’ 214 was the backbone of a mammoth total of 574 for seven declared in which Peter Handscomb and Ben Cox hit 68 and 69 respectively.

    The hosts’ response then got off to a dreadful start with Harry Came, Luis Reece, Wayne Madsen and Brooke Guest all falling cheaply as they limped to 54 for four by the close.

    Tom Alsop’s 84 and an unbeaten 75 from Cheteshwar Pujara helped Sussex reach 267 for five as they ate into Gloucestershire’s first-innings total of 417.

    Danny Lamb and Jack Carson had both taken three wickets as Zafar Gohar’s 60 and 45 not out from Zaman Akhter eased the visitors past 400 at Hove.

    Yorkshire face a fight to set a competitive total after a challenging second day against Middlesex at Lord’s.

    Having seen the hosts take an 87-run first innings lead thanks to half-centuries from Leus du Plooy and Josh De Caires, they ended the day on 216 for seven in their second – Toby Roland-Jones and Ryan Higgins claiming three wickets each – and will resume 129 ahead.

    Ricardo Vasconcelos’ 166 not out left Northamptonshire in a dominant position at Glamorgan.

    The hosts were 314 for two at the close, 43 runs ahead with Ben Sanderson having taken five for 92 as the Welsh side, for whom Colin Ingram scored 82, had been dismissed for 271.

  • Vote of confidence: Sir Viv Richards backs Windies to top upcoming T20 World Cup Vote of confidence: Sir Viv Richards backs Windies to top upcoming T20 World Cup

    Legendary West Indian batsman Sir Vivian Richards is backing the regional side to go all the way and claim a third ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title at the upcoming tournament.

    The Darren Sammy-coached and Rovman Powell-captained West Indies will square off against some of the world's best teams at the June 1-29 showpiece, which will be jointly hosted in the Caribbean and United States. West Indies won the 2012 and 2016 editions of the tournament.

    Richards gave the team a rousing vote of confidence as he spoke during the ongoing global trophy tour, which touched down in his homeland Antigua earlier this week.

    “It’s really exciting to see that one of the biggest sporting events on the global calendar will be coming to the West Indies and the USA and we will have matches right here in Antigua. For me, and my fellow Antiguans this is a tremendous event and we as absolutely delighted to host the world on our shores," Richards shared.

    “As I look ahead to the matches, I’m backing my West Indies team to deliver on the big day. We have a very good team, and they look united under Rovman Powell, so I’m throwing my full support behind my team. It would be great to win this ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on our home soil. We won twice before … those were way (in Sri Lanka in 2012 and India in 2016), so a third title would be great, and where better, than at home in front of our great West Indian fans to celebrate," he added.

    Richards was joined by former Antigua and West Indies greats Sir Andy Roberts, Sir Richie Ricardson, and Sir Curtly Ambrose as they posed for photos and videos at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. During the session, they also offered words of encouragement to several young cricketers who were specially selected to attend the event and were delighted to meet their heroes.

    The trophy tour made several other stops at iconic locations – Shirley Heights, Nelson Dockyard; and Heritage Quay, and the Antigua Recreation Ground in St John’s. It was also hosted by Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew. ICC and CWI thanked the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for their tremendous support in hosting the trophy tour events and the upcoming tournament.

    West Indies have been drawn alongside Afghanistan, New Zealand, Uganda and Papua New Guinea in the opening round. They bowl off their title hunt against PNG on June 2, at the Guyana National Stadium, followed by a clash with newcomers Uganda at the same venue on June 8. From there they travel to Trinidad to face New Zealand at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on June 12. Their final preliminary contest will be against the Afghans on June 17 at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia.

     
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.