4th Test: Root, Foakes bat out entire session as England reach 198/5 at tea

by IANS |

Ranchi, Feb 23 (IANS) Joe Root ditched the Bazball routine and embraced old-school style of play to bring up his fifty while Ben Foakes gave him ample support as the duo batted out an entire session for England to reach 198/5 at tea on day one of the fourth Test at the JSCA International Stadium here on Friday.

Root rose to the occasion when needed the most for England and is now unbeaten on 67, his first half-century on the ongoing tour. Foakes is 28 not out as England had their first wicketless session of the series through the 86-run partnership off 221 balls between the duo, also the longest stand for the visitors’ in the current series.

With variable bounce in play, Root and Foakes had to play attritional cricket for 16.4 overs in the second session till Root went for a drive off Akash Deep for four and went on to dab through the vacant gully region for another boundary.

Foakes joined the boundary-hitting party by driving Kuldeep Yadav through mid-off and driving against Akash to get two boundaries. Root got his fifty in 108 balls with a single off Ravichandran Ashwin, making this his first Test half-century since hitting 91 during the Ashes at The Oval in July last year.

Root, who shunned the temptation to play sweep or reverse-sweep, went on to time his drive off Kuldeep for a boundary, before punching Ashwin through cover and playing a deft late cut against Ravindra Jadeja. India went for a review when Jadeja trapped Foakes in front of the wicket with an arm ball, but replays showed ball missing stumps as the hosts’ lost all of their reviews in a session which belonged to Root and England.

Brief Scores: England 198/5 in 61 overs (Joe Root 67 not out, Zak Crawley 42; Akash Deep 3-47) against India

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