India captain Rohit Sharma accused of making two mistakes as England and Joe Root reap rewards

India captain Rohit Sharma accused of making two mistakes as England and Joe Root reap rewards

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as India miss opportunity against England

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 23/02/2024

- 22:40

Ben Stokes' side will be delighted with how they fought back on day one

Former England captain Nasser Hussain says India skipper Rohit Sharma missed a trick by making two mistakes on day one of the fourth Test.

England were staring down the barrel at 112-5 but an unbeaten Joe Root century ensured the tourists ended the day in Ranchi on 302-7.

Ben Stokes called correctly at the toss and had no hesitation to bat first on a pitch that will surely take more spin later in the match.

Zak Crawley got off to a flier with a run-a-ball 42 but it was India who took the upper hand, with debutant Akash Deep claiming three wickets in his first session as a Test cricketer.

Rohit Sharma and Joe Root

Rohit Sharma has been accused of making two mistakes as England took advantage


England were 112-5 at lunch as Ben Foakes joined Root and the pair put on an important 113-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Root then found a willing ally in Ollie Robinson, who saw him through to his century and will himself resume in the morning on 31.

Hussain believes Sharma made an error not starting with a seam bowler straight after lunch, instead going with two spinners.

He also disagreed with India's stance to not take the new ball late on in the day's play.

Hussain wrote for the Daily Mail: "I thought India got a couple of things wrong. This feels like a new-ball pitch to me, and I’d have opened after lunch with one seamer - probably Akash Deep, who bowled so well in the morning - and one spinner.

"But Rohit Sharma went with two spinners, when the ball was not even 25 overs old.

"Then, at the end of the day, with the second new ball available, Rohit declined to take it, when Deep or Mohammed Siraj might have nipped out another wicket or two.

"But take nothing away from Root: this was the day he reminded us why, when he eventually walks away from the game, he will be England’s leading Test run-scorer by a country mile."

England know they must win in Ranchi to have any chance of turning the series around and winning 3-2.

They needed Root to step up after he had struggled in the first three Tests and he certainly did that with his 226-ball 106.

The England squad were delighted for the former captain but Crawley never doubted him.

"We're chuffed for him, to be honest," Crawley said. "We never doubted Joe, we just think if he gets couple of lowies, he's even more due than before, so we fully expected him to go out and get runs in this game.


India vs England

India picked up five England wickets before lunch on day one


"He deserves everything he gets, he works so hard at his game and he always comes good.

"He's probably the only bloke in our team who could have done that knock; he's that good, he's our best player and he's stepped up when we needed him to.

"We needed him to get a score, and he got a score like he's done for so many years now.

"He's just a phenomenal player, one of the best - if not the best - player we've ever had for England."

Joe Root

Joe Root saved the day for England with a superb century in Ranchi


Crawley has had a good series without registering a massive score and admitted the conditions were tough early on.

He added: "It was nipping a lot and nipping quickly. I was trying to bat normally at the start and it was seaming, too difficult.

"I felt there was one with my name on it. So we had to throw a couple of punches back, and myself and Johnny did that really well actually.

"Then it got easier, but it was tricky against the spin for the middle-order boys, and they judged that really well. They read the situation and played unbelievably."

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