Ranchi Test: Root leads England recovery after Akash Deep’s dream debut

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akash deep
Akash Deep celebrates after taking a wicket on day one of the fourth Test against England in Ranchi. (Photo credit: BCCI X)

Ranchi: A jittery start after opting to bat first forced England to shun the Bazball, but saw a struggling Joe Root bounce back to form with a resilient century as the visitors were 302 for 7 at stumps on day one of the fourth Test against India, here on Friday.

India could have hoped to bowl out England after they were given a brilliant start with the early strikes made by the debutant pacer Akash Deep. But the experienced Root had other plans and dug deep to remain unbeaten on 106 off 226 balls, while at the other end Ollie Robinson was 26 not out at the close of opening day’s play.

Akash ran in with intent and bowled sharp by hitting the right lengths with the ball nipping around both ways, as he took out the first three English batters in 10 deliveries. By the time lunch was around, England were struggling at 112 for 5.

Rohit Sharma would have expected his bowlers to wrap up the innings in the second session, but the Yorkshireman discovered his mojo back to hit his first hundred in 15 innings, and 31st of his Test career.

Root found a perfect partner in Ben Foakes (47 off 126 balls) and kept India wicketless in the second innings, a first in the ongoing series. With the pitch playing flat in the post-lunch session, the duo added 86 runs before Mohammed Siraj provided the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Foakes three runs short of his fifty. The dismissal ended a 113-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Soon after Siraj struck again by taking out Tom Hartley for 13. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took one wicket each, while the third spinner Kuldeep Yadav went wicketless.

Opting to bat, England’s top-order ran into a debutant who wanted to make an impression in his maiden Test outing. Akash Deep dismissed Ben Duckett (11), Ollie Pope (0) and Zak Crawley (42) in 10 deliveries. In his second over he had bowled Crawley on 4 with a jaffa, but his celebrations were short-lived when he found out he had overstepped. The debutant finished with figures of 3 for 70.

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