INDvENG, 3rd Test: Ex-skippers criticise Root’s reverse-ramp timing on Day 3

February 18, 2024
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Alastair Cook and Nasser Hussain have criticised the timing of batter Joe Root’s reverse-ramp on day three of the third Test against India,

Rajkot, Feb 18 (IANS) Former England captains Alastair Cook and Nasser Hussain have criticised the timing of batter Joe Root’s reverse-ramp on day three of the third Test against India, which eventually became the starting point of the visitors’ batting collapse in first innings.

The start of day three on Saturday saw England collect a brace of boundaries before Jasprit Bumrah got India the breakthrough as Root dragged a reverse ramp straight to the second slip in the 40th over. Root’s dismissals triggered a collapse for England, who went from 207-2 to 319 all out, conceding a 126-run lead to India.

“Inside the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum dressing room, there will be no repercussions with the shot, and there will be no-one in the dressing room saying he shouldn’t have taken the shot. They can’t have it both ways; they’re allowed the freedom for the players to play the shots like Ben Duckett was playing yesterday, and the way Zak Crawley plays.”

“There cannot be any of that negativity in the changing room to allow them to play with that freedom. However, you have to question tactically if it was the right time to play that shot. It made us jump up when he played the shot and got out. Tactically, I think it was the wrong time to play it.”

“We’ve seen him play it really well before and we all applaud him when it goes well, but on a tactical note, they’re down a bowler without (Ravichandran) Ashwin, and you’ve got Bumrah who’s the main threat in that morning session – their best bowler who Root has really struggled with playing in this series.”

“Tactically here Joe Root will be sitting in his room and going, ‘I think I got that one wrong’, as he could’ve milked around this Indian bowling attack. That’s why I don’t think he should’ve played this shot there. I don’t mind him playing it at certain times, but I think he got it wrong,” said Cook on TNT Sports.

Similar views were echoed by Hussain on Sky Sports Cricket. “His dismissal sort of sums up where we are with Bazball. It will thrill and frustrate in equal measure. “One thing Joe will look at is the timing of that shot. Ashwin wasn’t there, India were down a bowler; (Ravindra) Jadeja is playing off the back of an injury; Bumrah is playing three Tests in a row and there is talk of him needing a rest.

“Bazball is about being attacking but it is also about soaking up pressure. Get Bumrah into his second or third spell, take it deep and then play the shot later in the day. I said after the last Test, when there was a bit of talk about Bazball not suiting Root, the stats don’t tell you that. He averages 51 when playing this way, with this mindset, and it’s 49 before it.”

“Statistically, he has been better when playing this way. When he is playing those reverse scoops to the first ball of the day of an Ashes Test, we all jump up and applaud. When he does it to Bumrah here and gets out, we all say ‘what a disgrace’. Joe will assess his dismissal himself. That’s what makes him a great player. He’ll come back. He’ll be absolutely fine.”

–IANS

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