Tue. Mar 9th, 2021

It looked as if Joe Root was batting on a completely different surface as compared to his other teammates. The England number one and world number five scored 150 runs for a second consecutive time in the series. Unfortunately, he got run out for 186. Perhaps, the only way the Lankans could have got him out.

Joe Root looked like a package player. In the highlights package, one would miss the ones and twos that he keeps on taking to tick the score over, but this knack of rotating the strike rattles the fielding side. Plus, Root is not just that, he can scores boundaries by reverse-sweeping and sweeping too and play straight-forward shots as well. Root had a poor 2020 where he failed to score a century; only the first time in his career that, he went through an entire calendar year without scoring a 100. He had previously said that he spent most of the 2020 thinking about how he could better his technique and score more runs for the team.

Recently he surpassed the Test runs tally of England greats David Gower and GeoffreyBoycott. He is just 225 runs short of surpassing Alec Stewart and becoming England’s third highest run scorer. English batsman have always struggled to score in sub-continental conditions. It’s not just the turning tracks and quality spinners of Asia, but also the heat and humidity play a role as the English are not used to such weather conditions. This was yet against seen in the second Test against Sri Lanka where apart from Joe Root, only Jos Buttler managed to go past the score of 50 runs. To put things in place, Root has scored 305 more runs than any other English batsman in this series, yes, 305!

This version of Joe Root is strong, resilient and dangerous. India would be looking at Root’s performance very closely and must be mapping out ideas to get him out quickly. To sum-up the batting style of Root, he is a mix of both Kevin Pietersen and Alistair Cook. Calm, composed and aggressive as well.

Sri Lanka vs. England Full Scores (Before the end of 1st session, Day 4)

Sri Lanka 1st Innings: 381/10 (Matthews 110, Dickwella 92; Anderson 6-40, Wood 3-84)

England 1st Innings: 344/10 (Root 186, Buttler 55; Embuldeniya 7-137) – Sri Lanka lead by 37 runs

Sri Lanka 2nd Innings: 51/5* (Perrera 14, Thirimanne 13; Bess 2-14, Leach 3-21)

Sri Lanka lead by 88 runs before the end of first session on Day 4 of the Test match.

The scores would worry the SL team as they are four down in no time. They have also lost Angelo Matthews, the centurion of the first innings. The onus now lies on Mendis and Dickwella.

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