England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 3rd day

Root's sweep, Woakes' drive

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the third day at The Oval

George Dobell at The Oval

August 23, 2013

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Joe Root top-edges a sweep to be caught for 68, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 3rd day, August 23, 2013
Oh, no, not a sweep: Joe Root top edges the ball to short fine-leg © PA Photos
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Award of the day

Kevin Pietersen was awarded a silver bat by Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, on the out-field during the lunch interview to recognise his achievement of becoming England's leading run-scorer in the history of international cricket. It was another reminder of Pietersen's immense contribution to England's success over recent years and how far the team have come over the last 12 months: this time last year Pietersen was out of the side due for disciplinary reasons.

Review of the day

At Old Trafford, the Australians missed an opportunity to dismiss Pietersen when he walked down the pitch at Shane Watson and missed his attempted flick to leg. The appeal was turned down on field and Pietersen was so far out of his ground that the Australians declined to ask for a review. However, a minute later, a signal from the dressing room told Michael Clarke the decision would have been overturned on Hawk Eye's projection. So when at The Oval a similar appeal was turned down - Peter Siddle to Pietersen walking down the pitch - Clarke thought he would try his luck. Alas, on this occasion, Hawk Eye showed Pietersen had been hit outside the line of off stump and Kumar Dharmasena's decision stood.

Sweep of the day

There are English fans who wake up in the middle of the night sweating in a panic because they've just dreamt that England have decided to bring the sweep back. Over the last few years it is a shot that made even the most accomplished English batsmen look like a bloke they'd selected from the pub. Joe Root missed out on those times, he clearly doesn't know what sort of psychological torture a sweep shot can do to his nation. With England coasting on a dull pitch, Root played the sweep to Nathan Lyon, took the edge and ensured that the conventional sweep-shot dismissal is not dead in English cricket.

Start of the day

This has been a tough match for debutants. Quite apart from Simon Kerrigan's stage-fright, the new seamers on each side - Chris Woakes and James Faulkner - found little to encourage them in this desperately slow pitch. But, facing his first ball in Test cricket, Woakes drove Mitchell Starc beautifully for four through extra-cover - left knee on the floor, confident follow-through and the sweetest of timing - to underline the impression that he is a highly talented batsman who just might be able to forge a career at this level irrespective of his success as a bowler. He was the first England player to start his Test career with a boundary since Richard Johnson, the Somerset and Middlesex seamer, did so against Zimbabwe in Durham in 2003.

Gesture of the day

For the first time in a Test, the England team wore a charity logo on the collar of their shirts to raise awareness for Cricket United Day. The day saw the three biggest cricket charities in the UK - The Lord's Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund - join forces to help raise awareness and create a lasting legacy from the Ashes. Many spectators also wore blue to show their support and the charities soon ran out of the t-shirts they were selling to raise funds. The England players have signed their shirts and they will now be auctioned off for Cricket United.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Clive_Dunn on (August 24, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

"bowl over 85mph and take International Test wickets." That seems to rule Woakes out of the list then ?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 24, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

No doubt Root will be criticised in some quarters for playing that sweep. They may even be some of the same quarters that were criticising England for scoring slowly. I'm guessing that Root was trying to score with that stroke. No doubt the advice would be to score quicker but don't get out. If only it was that easy. It will be interesting to see how the pitch plays when Australia bat again, weather permitting. It looks desperately slow at the moment but you'd expect Australia to be able to score more quickly regardless. It just remains to be seen whether they lose wickets in the attempt to push the scoring rate or are able to score relatively freely. If it's the former then England's caution will have been justified but, if it's the latter, they will look like having been negative without reason, as some are accusing at the moment.

Posted by   on (August 24, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

Here's hoping Woakes solves our infamous number 6 issue. A genuine all-rounder has been lacking for a long time. If he can average 35 with the bat, 30 with the ball, relieve some of the pressure on Prior and share the bowling load with Anderson, Broad and Tremfinnsnankin, he could be a really great asset.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (August 24, 2013, 0:12 GMT)

@OhhhhhMattyMatty And as an Aussie, these aren't the up and coming players that worry me most. Thee's a fella called Gary Ballance with a FC average of 53, when no current playr in the English Test team has a FC average over 50 - Trott, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Bairstow, none of them.

Whilst Australia's batting cupboard is bare, the Poms have talent to spare. And Cook is only 28.

I think the Poms inflicting pain on us is a long way from over yet .

Posted by Chris_P on (August 23, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

Unless you are bowling well in excess of 90 mph, bowling fast & straight will get you almost no return. Watson used to bowl 85-90 range, gun barrel straight, it was only when he slowed & swung the ball did he collect wickets, same for plenty of others. Woakes, to date is probably the only of the quicker bowlers who hasn't swung the ball at all, even Trott swung it a little. And very soon England won't have Pieterson, Bell, Swann, Trott & Anderson & they are huge shoes to fill. It all comes in cycles, has always done so & will continue to do so.

Posted by   on (August 23, 2013, 22:42 GMT)

Woakes looks like he can bat but his bowling isn't as good as similar bowlers e.g. Kallis, Watson. A middle order bat in Tests but an all-rounder in one-dayers.

Posted by crockit on (August 23, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

Ch5 did a dissection of the difference between Woakes action and that of Anderson - the latter's has a snap to it giving it more kick and being more side on is more naturally conducive for swinging the ball. Woakes has a mixed action - neither side or front - and needs the wicket or ball to do the work for him. He is not one of the most talented in the world as a bowler or all-rounder. As Dobell says he may have to rely on getting his batting to test standard to keep a slot with his bowling ending up as the 4th seamer bonus. I have not seen Stokes so could not comment. However, I have heard he can generate pace - perhaps more so than Woakes. He might prove a better choice - being potentially good enough soon to nail down a seamer spot and bat at 6-7.

Posted by   on (August 23, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

Left knee on the floor? wonder how thats done?

Posted by   on (August 23, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

Chris Woakes is a Right Handed Batsman. So his "Right" knee should be on the ground while playing a cover drive, not the "left knee" as mentioned here.

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