West Indies former legendary fast bowler Michael Holding feels India will be relieved to see the back of Joe Root before stumps on the opening day of the fourth Test match at the Oval. India posted a sub-par score of 191 runs but they were able to stay in the contest as they scalped three England’s wickets for 53 runs.
However, most importantly Umesh Yadav, who is playing his maiden match of the tour, got the big scalp of Joe Root. Yadav got the ball to nip back into the right-hander and breached Root’s defense, which the rest of the Indian fast bowlers have struggled to do in the ongoing series.
Root has been in prolific form in the ongoing series and has already scored three centuries in the first three Test matches. Thus, it was a huge wicket for India and the visitors were able to win the final session on the opening day after losing the first two sessions.
Michael Holding told Sky Sports, “That’s a huge wicket to get rid of Joe Root for 21. Huge!” “I wouldn’t actually say that England are just ahead at the moment; I think that India are very happy with the situation. They didn’t expect to get anywhere near 191 with the bat – thinking perhaps 150, 160 – so to get that score and then have England 53-3, with Root back in the pavilion, they’ll be extremely happy!”
On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah was able to provide two crucial breakthroughs of the England openers – Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed – in the same over.
Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur played a crucial knock of 57 runs off just 36 balls as he scored a fine counter-attacking inning. Thakur added that there is no right or wrong way to score runs. India needed crucial runs from Thakur after they were tottering at 127-7.
“When Rishabh [Pant] got out, it was important for me to play such an innings. There are two ways: you can either be patient and bank on all of the partners coming in, or if it’s in your slot hit it.”
He further stated: “There is no right or wrong way – runs are runs – but today was a day where I was connecting properly, so I kept going for the shots. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals, but we did well to get up to 190. Right now the game is equally poised; we have a chance.”
England currently trails by 138 runs as they are 53-3 at the end of the opening day.