Monday, June 27

England in control as Joe Root’s third century in three tests punishes India | England v India 2021


The look of embarrassment on Joe Root’s face after Jasprit Bumrah hit his stumps was ridiculous and revealing in equal measure. Ridiculous because the England captain had 121 runs to his name, only cricket can see the end of success with such disappointment, and revealing when it comes to his current insatiable thirst.

Headingley had marveled at the twenty-third century of testing Root’s career, the third in this series against India and the sixth in 2021 to equal the English record held by Michael Vaughan and Denis Compton. Even if he failed to score another run in the last five test matches of the year, he would still have 1,398 of them from January 1.

There was little reason to be sad, either, as this latest batting clinic had brought England into such absolute dominance in the third test that by the end of the second day, quite a few of the 16,721 in the crowd had already left. filtered out. off the ground to continue singing and drinking elsewhere.

Having taken out tourists by 78 24 hours earlier, Root’s men closed at 423 for eight of 129 overs and the lead had increased to 345. There was broader satisfaction for Root as well. Once again, he was the best on the show, but his peers weren’t bad at all, with each of England’s top four fifty for the first time since 2013 and the return of Dawid Malan delivering an excellent 70 at a 140-race position. with his employer.

Root’s Day had started by paying tribute to Ted Dexter after the news of his passing and, on the air, he referenced a couple of emails received from the former England captain. Dexter was a prolific blogger in his Personal website, and among the posts are some of the advice dispensed.

Regarding the captaincy, sent when Root was promoted to office in early 2017, Dexter preached a positive approach, offered some tactical advice for the challenge of trying to eliminate Australian Steve Smith later that year, and amusingly signed with the words: “Don”. Don’t let the bastards get you down! “

Dawid Malan produces another good shot against India on the second day of the third test.
Dawid Malan produces another good shot against India on the second day of the third test. Photograph: Michael Steele / Getty Images

On hitting, in a post dated November 2019 when Root had started to play with his trigger movements and became a bit frantic on the fold as a result, Dexter suggested that he practice “the rarely discussed art of ‘waiting ‘”because” the longer you wait, the more time it seems to have. “

This has been a hallmark of Root’s personal annus mirabilis and has certainly been the case for a first century in his field since he opened his account in 2013. The right-hander was in a rush in a way: 124 balls made this his third hundred fastest. – but he’s playing so wonderfully late; seems to have all the time in the world.

When Root jumped to the middle 20 minutes before lunch with the score of 159 for two, it represented the first time since October 2015 that he did so with more than 150 runs on the board. The lead was already 81 after Rory Burns had been cast in ’61 by a Mohammed Shami beauty and a similar Ravindra Jadeja collectible had depicted Haseeb Hameed.

This was a colder day, offering less swing than 24 hours earlier, but Indian bowlers had improved their game. Hameed bogged down as a result, adding just eight runs to his 60 overnight and stunned by a Bumrah gorilla in the head. But his firing was still a bit of an optical illusion, covering his stumps immaculately only for Jadeja to twist one past the outer edge and deftly kiss the wood.

Root flew out of the traps, leading a pair of four through the third man to lead England to 182 for two at lunch. He and Malan, up and running at this stage on the 27th and having previously opened their account with a crisp coverage campaign, then kicked off a 106-race afternoon session to leave the tourists a bit hesitant.

Both hitters got into the last 12 overs of the old ball and thus were well placed to take on their brightest replacement, with backstrokes and late hits, a hallmark of two sharp and controlled half centuries. The only apparent obstacle came when Root sought the help of referee Alex Wharf after getting his eye a bit dirty.

That was until Malan fell to the ball before tea, crowd favorite Mohammed Siraj, strangling him in the leg, but only after speaking to Virat Kohli in what seemed like an upbeat review. However sad Malan felt walking away, his return to the side was positive, both for how composed it looked and for a score that read 298 for three, presenting a platform for incoming runners to exploit.

This did not materialize as planned, even if England added 125 runs in the final session. Jonny Bairstow purred during a promising 29 bristling, especially when Jadeja was whipped by a six in a row, and was on hand to squeeze the life out of Root when the England captain drilled Ishant Sharma for his century.

But with Shami taking out Bairstow and Jos Buttler in quick succession, Bumrah finally cracking the root code, Moeen Ali perished midway while trying to take down Jadeja and Sam Curran hole-punching Siraj, Indian bowlers finally got some Tangible rewards in a day that underscored the past shortcomings of his hitters.

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On the bright side, they have plenty of time to atone for the second time, even if England are yet to finish and Craig Overton, undefeated at 24 after making four late quarters, was having a lot of fun as Root until his eventual departure.


www.theguardian.com

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