Joe Root stars in massive win over India in fifth Test
A superb 149 by Joe Root in the first innings of the fifth Test, helped England secure a huge 244-run innings-victory over India at the Kennington Oval on Monday.
A superb 149 not out by Joe Root in the first innings of the fifth Test helped England secure a huge-innings-and-244-run win over India at the Kennington Oval on Monday.
Roots' heroics came after India's batsmen, not for the first time in the series, collapsed and posted just 148 runs in their first innings.
India's captain, MS Dhoni, was the only Indian batsman who showed a semblance of resistance and top-scored with 82.
England cruised past India's first-innings total and were comfortable at 191 for 1, when trouble struck. Varun Aaron, R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma destroyed England's top order. The hosts lost four wickets for just 38 runs and were suddenly in a spot of bother at 229 for 5.
It was then that Root came to the fore. He and Jos Buttler dropped anchor and began to rebuild the innings. The duo put on an 80-run stand, before Buttler was dismissed by Ishant for 45.
Root, who took 93 balls to reach his fifty, switched gears shortly after and began to attack India's bowlers. He hit seven fours in the eight overs that followed.
His second fifty took just 42 balls to complete. It was an innings that put England in command of the Test once again. Stuart Broad then raised the tempo further after he arrived at the crease in the 108th over.
He hit four fours off the first ten balls he faced. Root joined in on the boundary-hitting spree that added to India's woes. Root hit six-more boundaries before India removed England's tail. The hosts led by a 338-run margin in the first innings.
India's top order failed in the second innings as well. The top-six batsmen scored just 40 runs between them and were all back in the pavilion with the score at 62. Chris Jordan did most of the damage and claimed four wickets, James Anderson had two wickets while Broad and Chris Woakes took one apiece. India managed just 94 runs in their second innings.
"It's always nice to score runs and you want to score as many as you can, but to finish like we did today was really pleasing. We've had to show a lot of character since Lord's and dig deep. I enjoy batting at five [since Australia], it's nice to score runs and win again," Root said after winning the Man-of-the-match award.
"I think I got into a place where I was just looking to survive but I'm trying to put pressure on the bowlers again. It's still very exciting, just the start of being a really strong side, hopefully we can build on this, even though it's a long time until we play Test cricket again."