Twitter Reactions: Joe Root's masterful 180* takes England to 391; Lord's Test still hangs in balance

Twitter Reactions: Joe Root’s masterful 180* takes England to 391; Lord’s Test still hangs in balance

India picked up five wickets in the final session to make a comeback and restrict England's lead to only 27.

Joe Root
Joe Root. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

With two days to go, the Lord’s Test between England and India is hanging right in the balance and it will all be about who will blink first. Joe Root continued to have good time in 2021 and he made the most of the best batting conditions of the series at Home of Cricket. He also got some support from the rest of the batsmen as England put up their best effort with the bat this summer and have certainly put India under pressure now.

The day began with the home side at 119/3, still 245 runs adrift of the opposition first innings’s total. Sunshine greeted both the sides and when Mohammed Shami’s first delivery of the day didn’t move and was left to the wicketkeeper without much trouble, many thought the visitors will have a long day. It happened just like that as Root showcased his class not for the first time in this series.

Jonny Bairstow supported him really well at the other end even as the runs came at fair clip. The Indian bowlers tried way too hard and ended up feeding loose balls at times. Root and Bairstow both also fearless played their shots with very little chance of edging the ball. England, possibly after a long time, had a wicketless session.

India, however, returned with a short-ball strategy and the 121-run partnership was finally. Bairstow tried to take on Siraj and ended up top-edging it to the slip fielder. The run-rate continued to stay around 3 as runs kept coming well. Buttler looked comfortable after spending some time in the middle, however, Ishant Sharma rattled his stumps with a brilliant inswinger.

Joe Root brings up his second ton of the series

At the other end, there was master at work. Joe Root was simply not letting the Indian bowlers breach his defences. He played and missed a few but in between there was so much class on show. Even an Indian fan would appreciate the knock and it certainly deserved all the praise. More importantly, he had batsmen supporting him at the other end too.

No wonder there was delight on his face after getting to a well-deserved ton and apart from an odd miss, the concentration continued to be spot-on. Moeen Ali it was who hung around with him scoring 27 off 72 balls. England lost only a couple of wickets in the second session and were only 50 runs behind in the first innings then.

However, the visitors came out with a different plan in the final session and made sure to keep a check on the run-rate. And soon it brought wickets in clumps with Ishant Sharma finally getting his rewards with successive wickets of Moeen and Sam Curran. Soon Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood were also sent back as England were reduced to 371/9 from 341/5.

India had made a brilliant comeback and nullified a chance of England taking a considerable lead. However, Root wasn’t going to relent as he churned some quick runs with James Anderson at the other end who had to face Jasprit Bumrah’s 10-ball over which was very very nasty.

Even as stumps drew close, Root began making sure to come on the fourth day to complete his double ton and also extend the lead further. But it was Mohammed Shami in the end, who breached Anderson’s defence on the final ball of the day to bundle England out for 391 runs as the hosts managed a lead of 27 runs with Root remaining unbeaten on 180. The visitors conceded 33 extras with 17 of them being no-balls, 13 from Bumrah alone.

The Test match hangs right in the balance now and the pressure will be on India now to once again bat well in order to set a total for England.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: