ENGvsIND: Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan lauds the England captain Joe Root for his above sensational stuff in the third Headingley Test Match while analysing the match as it went on day two. Root reflected tremendously after a terrible loss at the Lord’s cricket ground and smashed his third century of the series, in as many matches.
England managed to extend their massive lead to 354 runs on day three after bundling out India for a poor 78 runs score in the first innings. As of now, India has scored 39 runs in the loss of one wicket in their second innings as session two of day three commenced.
Zaheer Khan scanning England’s inning at the stumps on day 2 said that it was crucial for the England captain to inspire his troops after the loss in the previous test match.
“It is very important for a leader, especially when his team is down and trailing, to motivate his teammates, inspire them to play good cricket, and come back in the series. So, Root showed all these qualities and also showed his vigor,” Zaheer said during a discussion on Cricbuzz.
Root cooped a strong criticism after his tactical failure on the final day of the Lord’s test which resulted in India getting that win. England riding on the emotions after a few heated arguments with Indian cricketers went on to lose the second test match which at times looked evenly poised and even in the hands of the hosts.
“It is not easy (to perform like this) after receiving the kind of criticism he received for his captaincy after the Lord’s Test. He used the break very well and maintained his form with the bat. Sometimes, when this sort of thing happens (criticism after Lord’s Test), it affects your batting too. Instead, he polished his batting further.
“The way the match started and the first day played out and the way (James) Anderson and the bowlers performed so well to bundle out India cheaply, he would have definitely benefitted from it. Let’s not forget the opening stand. In this innings, he batted more freely and was playing his shots more often. The fact that he is well-versed with this ground was also an added advantage,” explained Zaheer.
The England skipper structured his innings well right from the start as he looked positive and believed his instincts. The batter absorbed all the pressure by playing sensible strokes which fetched him good runs.
“It looked like he had made up his mind that he will be positive. He had to curb his instincts, absorb the pressure and play accordingly till now. So, he would definitely have enjoyed this on the back of the great form and a great platform,” opined Zaheer.