Cricket / joe root

Series stays open | Kohli regains the top spot in test ranking
In cricket it's generally said that nine out of ten times a toss winning captain chooses to bat first, and he thinks of bowling first the tenth time, but still chooses to bat first. With the introduction of T20 cricket a lot has changed in the cricketing world and it has changed the constraints of cricket, similarly same can be said in regards to winning a toss. A lot has changed with time. But with the changing times and safe test cricket hasn't had that impact on it as everyone even now opts to bat first after winning the toss unless and until there is some sort of dew or the pitch is bowling friendly or there's a certain help for the bowlers early on in the day. When Pakistan and England locked horns in May this year, that was England home season's first test match. England captain Joe Root had not yet distracted himself from the nightmares of Ashes series. England were in doubt of the same and hence decided to bat first after winning the toss. However, the clouds were all over the ground and there were helpful conditions for the bowlers. This decision to bat first meant that England put the match in a plate and presented it to Sarfaraz as a gift. But at the start of the third test in Nottingham when Joe Root came down for the toss, there were no concerns this time around. England had won the first two matches and they had a great chance to win the series in Nottingham. Joe Root had a physiological advantage as he won the toss. Test cricket's prevailing intelligence demanded that he should bat first. Though the wicket did look good for bowling as there could be seen a lot of grass which could well have turned to be a mirage but overall looking at the conditions it was a win the toss and bat first pitch. It was clear that despite the cover of grass on the wicket, the conditions were not good for bowling. And maybe it was Root’s thinking that he could bring the weak batting unit of Virat Kohli under pressure and hence choose to bowl first. But when choosing to bat first, Root forgot that during the past three years the fourth inning totals for England have always been a mountain to climb. Root thought that what had happened in the previous two tests, with Indian batting, will repeat in the third test as well and he thought that his team would be needed to bat only once in the match. The wicket will have no life in it and England would score so much in its first innings that it would be enough to defeat India by an innings. But it's not James Anderson’s or Broad’s fault for they were asked to remove the wickets on a pitch that had runs and runs in it. And when the conditions for bowling were favorable, the ball was then in the hands of Bumrah and Pandya. But India's win wasn't only because of Root’s wrong decision.Kohli's self belief and Indian batsmen’s timely reaction helped a lot. In the first innings Rahane and Kohli took the onus upon them together which in the previous two matches kohli was trying to do lonely. In the second innings two it was Kohli's performance that helped Pujara build his innings too. It would have been a difficult situation for India if they had to chase down the target in the fourth innings but Root’s decision helped them stay away from this difficulty. And this gift of Root not only helped India to win the match, but also kept the series open for India too. Kohli also regained the number one spot in test rankings. My comments: Though the pitch looked good for bowling first as there was some cover of grass on the wicket but it was not a true grass, the grass was dry and it had no life in it. Root only cannot be held guilty of England's loss, for it's a team's decision to choose what to do along with the coaches and staff. And then it's not only Root who has to perform, his batsmen needed to step up to the challenge,but they were not up to the task. India were a better team during this test and they deserved to win. A positive for England to take from the test has to be Jos Buttler the batsman. He was exceptional in the second innings and also did well in the first innings too.

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