England’s Joe Root creates history in fourth India Test

The right-handed batter helped his side escape an early collapse

By Web Desk
February 23, 2024
Joe Root scored his 31st Test career century. — ECB

England’s middle-order batter Joe Root Friday created history on day one of the fourth Test against India which is being played at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi.

Root, who has been struggling to score big for some time, became the first batter to score 10 Test centuries against India, taking his overall red-ball ton tally to 31.

Players with the most Test centuries against India

Joe Root — 10 hundreds in 52 innings

Steve Smith — 9 hundreds in 37 innings

Gary Sobers — 8 hundreds in 30 innings

Viv Richards — 8 hundreds in 41 innings

Ricky Ponting — 8 hundreds in 51 innings

Root played a stellar knock of 106 not out to spearhead England's revival after Indian debutant fast bowler Akash Deep wreaked havoc with three wickets in the fourth Test on Friday.

Facing the challenge of staying competitive in the series, with England trailing 2-1 in the five-match contest, the visitors opted to bat first in Ranchi and reached stumps at 302-7.

Despite a shaky start that saw them reeling at 112-5, Root, who had endured a lean patch with just 77 runs in his last six innings, rediscovered his touch. He forged a crucial 113-run partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes, who contributed 47 runs.

The dismissal of Foakes by Mohammed Siraj ended the partnership, but Root stood firm, forming an unbeaten alliance of 57 runs with Ollie Robinson (31 not out) by the close of play.

Root's 31st Test century was particularly significant following criticism for his dismissal in the previous match, where he attempted a reverse scoop shot. He reached the milestone with a boundary, acknowledging the applause with a helmet-off salute to the England players and supporters.

Root and Foakes displayed patience in their batting approach, deviating from England's usual attacking style, known as "Bazball," to deny India any wickets during the afternoon session.

Deep bagged three, Siraj took two while Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin managed to pick one wicket each.

Playing XI:

India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson