‘Career would have gotten over’: Ex-India pacer makes seething remark over Joe Root’s ‘ugly’ dismissal

As the battle between England and India intensifies in the five-match Test series, former England captain Joe Root’s struggle at the crease has become a focal point of discussion and criticism. With unimpressive scores of 29, 2, 5, and 16 in the initial contests, Root’s form was further scrutinized following an unconventional dismissal in the third Test at Rajkot. His decision to reverse-scoop a delivery from Jasprit Bumrah, only to be caught at second slip, has been met with severe judgement from the cricketing fraternity.

The assertive Indian pacer Bumrah, having an exceptional series, might not have been the most prudent choice for such an experimental shot, especially considering the lean phase Root has been experiencing. His dismissal had far-reaching consequences, triggering a significant collapse in the England batting lineup. The team plummeted from a promising 224/2 to being dismissed for 319. In stark contrast, India confidently piled on the runs, amassing a substantial score of 430 and setting the English side an imposing target of 557 for the final innings.

Former cricketers RP Singh, Michael Vaughan, and Ravi Shastri have been forthright in their condemnation of Root’s approach. Singh expressed his astonishment at the shot selection and the consequences it may have had if it were played at a lower level of cricket. In a conversation on Colors Cineplex, he remarked, “The shot Joe Root played, if someone had played such a shot at domestic or club level, his career might have gotten over. He would have been asked to first correct things and come as you can’t play like that.”

Singh went on to question how the England support staff might perceive such a risk. He added, “I am not able to think how the support staff would see that shot. I never thought such a compact player would play this shot and that too against Jasprit Bumrah. He might have thought two days ago that he would try something unique as Bumrah was anyway going to dismiss him.”

The ex-India pacer theorized that Root might have developed a ‘Bumrah syndrome’, causing him to take such audacious measures to counter the bowler’s dominance. “There was a match being played in between this match. Jasprit Bumrah has been on top of him (Root) in this series and he has been dismissed in different fashions. It’s not that he has been dismissed similarly. I would say it’s more in Joe Root’s mind that he needs to be careful against Jasprit Bumrah,” Singh explained.

The incident raised the bar for a discourse on the mental and strategic aspects of Test cricket. It underscored the psychological battle that players often endure against particular opponents, alongside the technical facets of the sport. Root’s shot was not merely a moment of audacity; it was emblematic of a player searching for any solution to regain his form against an adept adversary.

Among other notable performances in the series, India’s Shubman Gill joined the likes of MS Dhoni and Ajay Jadeja in a prestigious list after a near-century knock, while Sarfaraz Khan replicated Sunil Gavaskar’s impressive record on his Test debut. Yashasvi Jaiswal too carved his name into the record books, slamming consecutive double centuries and setting a new benchmark for sixes in a series.

The ongoing series has become an exhibition of spectacle, with individual glories and lapses casting a shadow over the proceedings. While Root’s dismissal became a talking point, players on both sides continue to vie for supremacy in what remains an enthralling testament to the unpredictable nature of Test cricket. As for Root, the journey back to a form that befits his calibre may require re-evaluating the methodologies he adopts at the crease, especially in times of adversity.

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