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Joe Root’s ‘common sense ball’ record century in 4th India Test gets AB de Villiers and Michael Vaughan’s attention

Root made a stellar comeback on Friday in the fourth Test against India, as he scored a well-composed century, his first 50-plus score in the series

There was a lot of scrutiny around Joe Root’s form in the ongoing five-match Test series against India and whether he was unable to adjust to the Bazball era of cricket that England adopted. In the first six innings of the series, Root, who has always been the most threatening batter in the England lineup and hailed as among the Fab Four batters of the modern era, managed only 77 runs, which did not even include a single half-century knock. Even his shot selection was immensely criticised during this run. However, Root made a stellar comeback on Friday in the fourth Test against India in Ranchi, as he scored a well-composed century that immediately got the attention of former cricketers AB de Villiers and Michael Vaughan.

Joe Root scored his maiden fifty in the ongoing Test series against India

Root enjoys playing against India and in India. His tally of 1118 runs is the most he has managed in any country outside England. Back in 2016, he had amassed 491 runs in five matches against India. However, on his first visit to India under the Bazball regime, Root showed signs of struggle, especially in taking the aggressive route against the Indian bowling attack. The criticisms reached its pinnacle during the third Test in Rajkot last week, when he reverse-scooped a delivery from Jasprit Bumrah straight to the fielder at slip.

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Bouncing back from all the talks around his form, Root, playing his more natural game against a Bumrah-less India attack, notched up his maiden century on Friday, as he single-handedly carried England’s innings on Day 1 of the fourth Test where the visitors amassed 282 for seven.

The knock immediately had the attention of Vaughan and De Villiers, who lauded Root for lacing a composed century, his 10th against India, still the most he has scored against a single opponent. It is also the most by any player against India in Test cricket as he surpassed former Australia cricketer Steve Smith.

“This is the Joe Root mode that win you Test matches! Glue mode. Let the rest play Bazz Ball. Good start from India. Good fight from Eng. Setting up for a good Test match,” tweeted the South Africa legend, while Vaughan wrote: “Lovely to see Common sense Ball.”

Besides it being his 31st career ton, it was his also Root’s 20th fifty-plus score against India, which is now the joint-most by a player as he equalled the legendary Ricky Ponting.

Joe Root remained unbeaten on 106 off 226 deliveries, smashing nine fours in his innings so far, as England ended at 302/7 at Stumps on Day 1.


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