Considered by many to be the backbone of England’s batting line-up in the ongoing series against India, Joe Root was left stunned as he fell to Jasprit Bumrah for five off 10 balls on Day 2 of the ongoing second Test match. It wasn’t Root’s fault as it was Bumrah’s day, where he ended up taking a sensational six-wicket haul.
Other than Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav showcased his brilliance, taking three wickets as England posted 253 in response to India’s first innings total of 396. The likes of Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes got good starts but failed to capitalise. Zak Crawley was the only batter who managed to play a strong knock as the opener slammed 76 off 78 balls, before falling to Axar Patel.
Meanwhile, Bumrah accounted for the dismissals of Pope (23), Root (5), Bairstow (25), Stokes (47), Tom Hartley (21) and James Anderson (6). Out of all his wickets on Day 2 in Vizag, it was the manner in which he removed Root caught everyone’s attention the most.
The pacer set up Root perfectly with an inswinging delivery from good length, and then made the next ball leave him from the same area, around off stump. Root was committed to the defence and had no time to take his bat away, outside edging it to the left of Shubman Gill at first slip for an easy catch. It also marked the eighth time that the bowler removed Root.
Commenting on Bumrah’s spell against Root, former England captain Alastair Cook had special praise for the star pacer. Speaking on TNT Sports, he said, “A couple of those balls, the Bumrah spell against Joe Root, is actually very high-quality reverse swing bowling.”
Cook also pointed out India’s clever bowling approach, which worked in their favour. “What is very clever about it is after the partnership, Bumrah didn’t bowl the first over of reverse swing, [Mukesh] Kumar did, and when they knew it was reverse swinging, they went to his [India skipper Rohit Sharma’s] best bowler,” he added.
The England legend also criticised Root’s tactical approach and felt that Bumrah took advantage of it. “At Hyderabad, he was playing across the line and got LBW. Early on he saw an in-swinger and played a beautiful straight bat, so he’s trying to do it. But what he does do, you’re looking to play the ball all the time,” he said.
He added, “Bumrah has realised that and dragged him wider. So you’re trying to cover that but it brings another dismissal into play, so he’s got him out both ways now. Now Root’s in that horrible position that the batsman has got the wood over you, so how are you going to counter it?”
Bumrah had also removed Root in the first Test, but England ended up scripting a historic victory in Hyderabad and took a 1-0 lead.