England Skipper Joe Root Once Again Denied A Century By Indian Team

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New Delhi: A run out for 80 by a brilliant direct hit by ViratKohli, England skipper Joe Root was once again denied a century pulling back the home team’s surge on the final session of Day 1 in the opening test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Root was easing towards his 14th century only for Kohli, with the sun in his eyes, throwing down at the non-striker’s end to catch his counterpart well short as he tried a risky second run after Jonny Bairstow had played R Ashwin to midwicket.

It helped India rein in England, who were threatening to run away with the innings after Root had elected to bat on a good pitch. Missing out on a century will, however, add to the pressure on the home team skipper.

Joe Root is regarded among the finest batsmen of his generation, rubbing shoulders with ViratKohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson for the tag as the world’s best batsman.

Kohli has excelled as an all-format star and Aussie Smith has been brilliant in ODIs and Test cricket to such an extent his absence along with David Warner following the ball-tampering bans has seen the team flounder in the limited-overs tour in England.

The England skipper is easily the most classical among the four, but he has worn the leadership he bequeathed from Alastair Cook, who stepped down after the disastrous India tour in 2016 as some kind of a millstone.

Cook himself acknowledged that England, the No 1 Test team in 2011 and now fifth in the pecking order led by India, were far from consistent, in terms of performances and personnel to aspire to be the top side.

And Root has been forced to carry that weight on his shoulders.

England’s No 4 has sacrificed his favourite spot and moved up to No 3 in a desperate search for stability in the squad as pressure mounts due to lack of dominance even at home.

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