Darren Gough questions Joe Root’s ‘reckless’ dismissal following England’s defeat in second Test to India

February 5, 2024
Darren Gough questioned premier batter Joe Root’s ‘reckless’ way of getting out in England’s 106-run defeat to India in the second Test in Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam, Feb 5 (IANS) Former England fast-bowler Darren Gough questioned premier batter Joe Root’s ‘reckless’ way of getting out in England’s 106-run defeat to India in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. On day four of the match at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Monday, England showed the positivity of continuing their uber-attacking approach, but it wasn’t sufficient as they were bowled out for 292 in 69.2 overs.

Apart from Zak Crawley’s 73, no other batter could touch the 50-run mark in their fourth innings chase, as India squared the five-match series at 1-1. Root, batting with an injured right little finger, was attacking from the word go.

He went reverse-sweeping twice in his first four balls for boundaries off Ravichandran Ashwin, before smacking Axar Patel over long-off for six. His frenetic knock ended when he miscued a slog off Ashwin and the thick top edge was caught by short third man, falling for 16 off nine balls.

Root has had a disappointing run with the bat in the ongoing Test series against India, as seen from his scores of 29, 2, 5 and 16.

“What Bazball is supposed to be about is playing your natural game. But to add to it, to play with freedom. Don’t be afraid to play your natural game in the middle, like you would be in the nets. That was just reckless from one of the top three batters in the world. He will regret that,” said Gough to talkSPORT.

Similar views were echoed by former England captain Sir Alastair Cook. “Joe Root is England’s best batter. But he does struggle sometimes with the tempo of this Bazball era. He sees all of these other people playing aggressive shots, which really suits their style…and he is desperate to fit in with what Brendon (McCullum) and Ben (Stokes) are doing.”

“Sometimes I don’t think he gets the balance between defence and attack quite right. He had 16 off 10 balls here…I don’t think he has complete control. We don’t know what his finger is like and how bad that is. We don’t know all the facts…but for a Root innings in isolation, I feel he was too aggressive today,” he told TNT Sports.

Cook, who captained England to a 2-1 Test series win in India in 2012, further explained how Root hasn’t been the same batter in the McCullum-Stokes regime.

“At that stage, I understand the need to be positive, he had 16 from nine deliveries being super positive but when we’re talking about controlled aggression and playing the percentages in your favour it doesn’t feel as though at that stage with Ashwin drifting it across him that playing that square-of-the-wicket was a percentage shot for him.”

“It’s a great balancing act, Joe Root in this Ben Stokes era. He’s one who’s probably found his tempo quite hard to find. All these other players who have come into the Ben Stokes era, they haven’t dominated Test cricket, they didn’t know what their game was about and actually this was a very clear direction for them to play.”

“On the other hand, there’s one batsman – Joe Root – who knows exactly how to play, his method worked for him and he’s so desperate to be the great team man after being captain that he’s throwing himself in for it and sometimes he plays shots like that that are unusual for someone who has seen a lot of him batting.”

“On the flip side of it, if you talk about criticising that shot, his record has improved under Ben Stokes. Very similar averages but his strike rate has gone up to 75. So for people to say it isn’t suiting his style, the stats on this way say it’s improving his game.”



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