Joe Root Bowled: Team India roared back into the fourth Test against England at the Oval with a brilliant final session on the first day. After being reduced to 122/7 at tea, the visitors added 69 runs for the final three wickets thanks to a special knock by Shardul Thakur. Shardul’s effort was the fastest half-century in England, breaking Ian Botham’s record. It was also the second-fastest fifty by an Indian after Kapil Dev.
Joe Root walked in to bat in the fourth over after Jasprit Bumrah had removed both England openers. He looked in fine nick once again, cutting and driving with ridiculous ease. He raced to 21 in no time. Something special was required to get rid of the England captain, who is in a purple patch. Umesh Yadav delivered a ripper, the ball seamed in and took out Root’s off stump. Watch the absolute beauty here:
The match hangs in the balance, especially after Joe Root’s departure. England finished with 53-3 at stumps, with Craig Overton and David Malan at the crease. The hosts trail India by 138 runs.
Earlier in the day, India’s openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played brilliantly for the first 30 minutes. Chris Woakes removed the Sharma, resulting in a top-order collapse. India were reduced to 29 for 3 following another failure by Cheteshwar Pujara.
Ravindra Jadeja was elevated to No. 5 and batted ahead of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant, in a decision that surprised everyone. However, India’s strategy backfired when Jadeja fell for 10 after the lunch break. Rahane looked rusty once again before giving his wicket to Overton.
Virat Kohli hit a tenacious half-century. In the process, he became the fastest player to attain the milestone of 23000 international runs. Pant lost his cool and tossed his wicket away. The final two wickets took barely three deliveries after Shardul’s sensational knock. Robinson got three wickets, while Chris Woakes ended with a four-wicket haul.
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