The best part of Joe Root’s weird-arsed 5-8 v India at Ahmedabad

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Busy day. Lots of wickets and even one or two deliveries that didn’t result in wickets. Somewhere in amongst it all, Joe Root took 5-8.

For many people, the best part of Root’s spell was the moment when he had 3-0.

For other people, the best part was the perfect-o-ball he bowled from the round the wicket to Washington Sundar that pitched on middle stump and hit off.

These were not the best parts of Joe Root’s 5-8.

The best part occurred when he took the next wicket. The best part was how Dom Sibley celebrated when he caught Axar Patel.

Let’s take a look.

What you have to remember before we get into this is that Patel’s dismissal came when the game was going absolutely NUTS.

India had just gone from 114-3 to 125-7 in what Boris Becker calls “the blinking of one eye”.

Sibley was duly – and entirely understandably – carried away by a veritable TSUNAMI OF EMOTION.

Here’s how it went down.

Axar Patel drilled Root pretty much straight to Sibley and Sibley caught it.

It was a big moment.

Plans in tatters, ridiculed as no-hopers, England were fighting back.

India were imploding. Imploding spectacularly.

England were BACK IN IT.

Now here’s Sibley’s celebratory throw.

See the ball soar!

See Sibley leap with glee as his elated team-mates descend on him!

It’s safe to say that Dom Sibley is not a man who allows his emotions to overcome him.


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  1. Breaking news: following an inspection of the playing surface at Ahmedabad, Somerset have been docked 10 points.

  2. Sheesh this is pushing home advantage to its extreme. India will win the series but will (should) probably privately be a bit embarrassed

  3. Not even sure where to start with that. Everyone seems to have an opinion. I’m still trying to work out what the heck just happened.

    1. Jimmy getting out caught behind from both balls he faced was a particular highlight for me, as was the match aggregate runs being 11% lower than those scored in the concurrent NZ v Other Team T20i.

  4. Are we all agreed that England need to ‘rotate’ the whole team to make sure the WTC final is New Zealand vs India and not…. that other team?

    1. Don’t think we necessarily agree that England *need* to do this. That was kind of the theme of yesterday’s piece.

  5. This is the emptiest and most hollow I’ve felt as an Indian fan after a “victory”. What a shit pitch. What a shit idea to name a stadium after a sitting PM.

    Sorry Test cricket. Ironically this is all the WTC’s fault, stupid revised rules mean that it’s all about percentage. I guarantee you India wouldn’t have done this had it been based on the pre-Covid qualification rules.

  6. Reverting to KCs point from the previous day, England simply look inadequate on a South-Asian pitch against a top notch South-Asian team.

    This was largely apparent during the Sri Lanka series, despite the score-line, because Sri Lanka are currently fielding a weak test side. Still, England almost conspired against itself to lose the second test, in the end doing well to win it.

    It was the first test in India that really flattered to deceive. England did very well taking full advantage of the toss and the good batting conditions for the first half of that match.

    But this England side, despite many excellent players and great progress as a team, remains ill-equipped to win against a team as good as India on a turning pitch.

    But the track served up at Ahmedabad this week was a very poor one. That was not a good contest between bat and ball, despite the short term excitement of “every ball might take a wicket” cricket. Sticky dog uncovered pitches in England had this characteristic, so it is not simply a Southern-Asian phenomenon that raging turners can make first class cricket too much of a lottery. But it is a phenomenon that can, largely, be eliminated from the game through sensible playing conditions and sound preparation of the pitches.

    And as we have discussed here many times before, ludicrously flat tracks that stand almost no chance of yielding a result in five days are differently but equally unwelcome in my view, should also be marked poor and the ICC should be striving to minimise/eliminate those too.

    Test cricket loses out when the pitch is the main reason that the match is so far removed from the sort of multi-day contest most of us hope for.

    England would probably lose this series on good pitches in India, because India is a far stronger side in Indian conditions…possibly in any conditions. It’s just a shame that the cricketing world has been short-changed in this two-day test match on a poor pitch.

    1. It wasn’t a great pitch, of course, but I thought dire batting and a harder, skiddier pink ball made it look worse than it was.

      1. Seemed to be a mix of batsmen who were dismissed because of the skiddier pink ball and batsmen who panicked at the prospect of being dismissed because of the skiddier pink ball.

      2. I agree that the skiddey quality of the pink ball added to the confusion, much as there have been low pink ball scores on pace-friendly pitches.

        Your analysis in the next piece on this site is very good, KC.

        But I still think the curator could & should have produced a better pitch for that match.

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