Joe Root’s century was due: Crawley

Ranchi, Feb 23 (PTI) England opener Zak Crawley on Friday said that a century from Joe Root was long due and the veteran batter’s unbeaten 106 on Day 1 of the fourth Test against India was a “phenomenal” knock under the circumstances.

After losing half of the side at lunch for 112, England rode on Root’s determined 106 not out to end day one on 302 for 7 in the fourth Test against India here.

“He (Root) is unbelievable. We fully expected him to get a good score at some point in this series; he was due, he’s the best player we’ve ever had and he played phenomenally today,” said Crawley after the day’s play.

“He deserves everything he gets, he works so hard at his game and he always comes good.” Root was in the middle of a lean patch and his highest score before Friday’s knock in this series was 37.

“He’s probably the only bloke in our team who could have done that knock; he’s that good, he’s our best player and he’s stepped up when we needed him to.

“We needed him to get a score and he got a score like he’s done for so many years now, he’s a phenomenal player,” said Crawley who made run-a-ball 42 at the top of the order.

Root first got a fine ally in wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes who contributed a valuable 47 runs in a century-plus stand.

“It was tricky with the fields they were setting but we just always talk about the present, and the situation required a bit more caution with that kind of pitch and the variable bounce and that’s what they delivered.

“At other times, we counter-punched but they played it perfectly and read it well,” he said.

Regarding the pitch, Crawley said, “It was nipping a lot and nipping quickly. It felt like you had to throw a counter-punch, you couldn’t really sit there like those boys did later on in the day.

“I expected variable bounce from the look of those cracks. It certainly did less and less as that opening spell went on. I got out still fairly early but it looked like it wasn’t bouncing anywhere near as much or as quickly as earlier on against seam.

“It got harder against the spin, it will continue to break up. It might be a new-ball wicket, hopefully it is when we bowl but the I think the spin’s only going to get harder,” he added.

Source: PTI News


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