Last Update on: December 5th, 2022 at 10:28 am
Day 4 of the inaugural Test between England and Pakistan in Rawalpindi was exciting. However, Joe Root’s unconventional batting strategy was the talk of the day after Dinesh Karthik, an experienced player for India, gave it an epic appraisal.
England made a brave move by declaring their second innings at 264-7 at tea for an overall advantage of 342 after being frustrated by Pakistan’s tail. After Abdullah Shafique and captain Babar Azam were taken out of the game with single-digit scores, the tourists took control of the Test match.
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When Root faced leg-spinner, Zahid Mahmood, as a left-handed batsman in the over after his fifty, he stunned the cricketing world. He did pull through a scare in the second ball, but he battled the leg spinner for some time before reaching an important 73 for England.
Karthik took to Twitter to reminisce how India icon Sunil Gavaskar did something similar in the semi-final of the 1981-82 Ranji season to counter a left-arm spinner. Gavaskar’s strategy had saved Mumbai from losing at the time.
“I’ve seen a few things but what JOE ROOT just did in a test match is definitely a first for me. I’ve only heard Sunil Gavaskar has done this in domestic cricket once. The game is changing in every format and players are willing to keep adapting in every way possible. #ENGvPAK” tweeted Karthik.
“Joe Root has obviously got some skill”: Paul Collingwood
In a press conference at the end of the day, England’s assistant coach Paul Collingwood revealed that Root bats with his left hand.
“Well he does, sometimes (on practicing left-handed batting in the nets). I think he bats better left-handed than I did right-handed. He has obviously got some skill if you can go out and bat left-handed in a Test match” Paul Collingwood said.
“We just try and find ways to go against convention and put the opposition under pressure. If leg-spinners go into the rough and to counter that he can bat left-handed then go for it,” he said.
At stumps on Day 4, Pakistan reached 80/2, still needing 263 runs to win on the final day.