4th Test: Joe Root leads fightback with unbeaten century to carry England past 300

Ranchi, Feb 23 – Joe Root shelved the Bazball methods to get back to playing attritional cricket and that paid off as he led England’s fightback with an unbeaten century to carry England to 302/7 at stumps on Day One of the fourth Test against India at the JSCA International Stadium here on Friday.

Root’s sublime 106 not out off 226 balls, his 31st century in the format and also his tenth Test hundred against India, was laced with nine fours, helped England cross 300 after being 112/5 at lunch, with debutant fast-bowler Akash Deep taking first three scalps.

Root got ample support from Ben Foakes (47) and Ollie Robinson (31 not out) to stitch partnerships of 113 and an unbeaten 57 respectively on a pitch which looked cracker and had traces of variable bounce, seam movement and turn to keep England on top at the end of first day’s play.

In the final session, after beginning sedately, Foakes went for the aggression by swinging Ravichandran Ashwin over mid-wicket for six and rolling his wrists to sweep and slog-sweep for consecutive fours. But Mohammed Siraj broke the 113-run partnership for the sixth wicket as Foakes chipped to short mid-wicket for 47.

Tom Hartley had some fun by swinging Ashwin for six and edging past second slip for four off Siraj. The fast bowler had the last laugh with the beauty of a delivery nipping away and going past the outside edge to crash into the stumps.

Root took a boundary off Akash by squeezing the yorker for four past fine leg and brought up his magnificent century off him with a delightful cover drive going for a boundary. Robinson had some fun at the fag-end of the match by slog-sweeping Kuldeep Yadav for six, followed by leaning into the drive off Akash and pulling Yashasvi Jaiswal for two fours to take England past 300 before stumps came on a day which belonged to Root and the visitors.

Brief scores:

England 302/7 in 90 overs (Joe Root 106 not out, Ben Foakes 47; Akash Deep 3-70, Mohammed Siraj 2-60) against India


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