Joe Root was the destructor-in-chief for the visitors as Team India suffered a horrible batting collapse in the first session of Day 2 of the third Test. The hosts were way ahead in the Test match, having bowled England out for just 112 in their first innings.
Axar Patel starred with a six-wicket haul at his home ground. With India ending the day on 99-3, just 13 runs behind England’s total, many wrote off the visitors on the first day itself.
However, little did anyone know what was to unfold on an eventful Day 2. Jack Leach gave the visitors the perfect start by picking up wickets of both the set batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. It seemed that England played a spinner less, but Joe Root ensured that the visitors didn’t feel its effect.
Cheapest 5-wicket innings hauls by captains in Tests :-
6/7 Arthur Gilligan (ENG v SA) 1924
5/8 Joe Root (ENG v IND) Today
6/18 Courtney Walsh (WI v NZ) 1995
5/19 Aubrey Smith (ENG v SA) 1889
5/26 George Giffen (AUS v ENG) 1895
5/26 Fazal Mahmood (PAK v IND) 1960 pic.twitter.com/ZIzNQqP8NZ
— Vasanth Kumar (@ImVKumar99) February 25, 2021
On the very first ball of his spell, Joe Root dismissed the dangerous Rishabh Pant. This was a big wicket as the 23-year-old could have taken the game away from England in no time.
Washington Sundar, who was played ahead of Kuldeep Yadav for his batting, seemed to defend the ball with ease. But Joe Root pushed India further into the abyss as he cleaned the all-rounder up with a beauty.
Axar Patel came out with a game plan to counter attack the opposition bowlers. That strategy too fell flat on its face as he hit one straight to covers and didn’t trouble the scorers.
It was Ravichandran Ashwin who was the last recognizable batsman remaining. He did hit a few shots, but was caught in the deep trying to up the ante. Ishant Sharma enjoyed himself a bit by hitting his first international six.
But it was Joe Root all the way as he fittingly picked up the last wicket of Jasprit Bumrah and completed his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket. India have started strongly in the second innings with two quick wickets. They will need to bowl the visitors out quickly, knowing they have to bat last.