Joe Root's patient fifty takes England to 198/5 at tea

    The Hawk
    February23/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Joe Root's resilient fifty and Ben Foakes' support anchor England's recovery after early blows against India in the fourth Test. Akash Deep's fiery debut spell rattles England's top order, setting up an intriguing day's play.

    Joe Root

    Ranchi: Veteran batter Joe Root took a trip back to his roots, producing a typical gritty unbeaten fifty, his first of the series, as England consolidated after losing five wickets in the opening session to reach 198 for five at tea against India on day one of the fourth Test here on Friday.

    The Yorkshire man remained unbeaten on 67 off 154 balls (7x4), while wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes played the perfect fiddle with a patient 108-ball 28 not out as the pair shunned the 'Bazball' approach in the session.

    The England duo added 86 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand as the visitors saw through the middle session without losing any wicket, a first for the visitors in this series.

    After the frenetic first session when Bengal pacer Akash Deep had a dream debut taking three top-order English wickets in the first hour's play, Root and Foakes played a levelheaded game and nudged the ball around as the wicket also flattened out.

    Showing a sensible approach, Root curbed the sweep shots and reached a patient 108-ball fifty, after making 29, 2, 5, 16, 18, 7 across the last three Tests.

    The non-presence of rested Jaspirt Bumrah, who had dismissed Root thrice in this series, also made life a lot easier for the premier England batter who was happy to play the spinners on the backfoot and slice the field.

    Earlier, Akash bowled one of the best opening spells on Test debut as India dismissed half of England batting unit by lunch.

    The 27-year-old pacer, who hails from Bihar but came through the ranks playing domestic cricket in Bengal, hit the deck hard and aptly maneuvered the ball in both ways in a sensational bowling display in the first hour's play after Ben Stokes opted to bat.

    Akash, however, challenged that call with his three-wicket burst of Ben Duckett (11), Ollie Pope (0) and Zak Crawley (42) in a span of 10 balls.