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IND vs ENG TEST 4 DAY 1: Root's brilliant Batting. England 302/7 at Stumps

IND vs ENG: Joe Root's Century Rescues England on Day 1 in Ranchi

In a thrilling turn of events on Day 1 in Ranchi, Joe Root's splendid century emerged as the saving grace for England, reaching 302/7 at Stumps against India. Akash Deep, making a memorable debut, disrupted England's top order, giving India an early advantage. The spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja added to England's woes before Lunch, reducing them to 112/5. However, Root and Foakes formed a resilient partnership post-Lunch, avoiding any further setbacks in a session marked by no wickets, a rare sight in this series.

The Root-Foakes partnership, reaching over 100 runs, appeared to turn the tide in England's favor. Despite accelerating in the final session, Siraj's explosive spell saw the dismissals of Foakes and Hartley, swinging the momentum back towards India. The breakthrough came when Mohammed Siraj dismissed Ben Foakes on 47, ending their defiant 113-run stand for the sixth wicket. The resistance from Root and Foakes visibly frustrated the Indian team, with Rohit Sharma utilizing their last remaining review on an LBW decision against Foakes.

Earlier, pacer Akash Deep had a dream debut, claiming three wickets in his first six overs, creating havoc in England's batting lineup. Replacing the rested Bumrah, Akash Deep initially dismissed Duckett and Pope before legitimately knocking over Crawley's off stump. England captain Ben Stokes revealed spinner Rehan's absence due to personal reasons.

The crucial fourth Test in Ranchi holds significance as India leads the five-match series 2-1. Bumrah's absence provides opportunities for Mohammed Siraj to lead the pace attack, and debutant Akash Deep adds a new dimension. Despite injuries to key players like KL Rahul, India has found promising talent in Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel, both making their mark in their debut Tests.

England, recovering from a record defeat in Rajkot, introduced Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir into the playing XI, replacing Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed. The ultra-aggressive approach of the English team has faced criticism, with questions arising after their massive loss in the previous Test. The pitch conditions in Ranchi are a concern for England as they seek to level the series.

Key Highlights:
- Joe Root's 31st century, marking his tenth against India.
- Root and Foakes' partnership of 86 off 221 in the second session.
- Root's first half-century of the series.
- Akash Deep's impactful seven-over opening spell, claiming three wickets.
- Ashwin and Jadeja contributing to England's early struggles.
- England at 112/5 in 24.1 overs at Lunch.
- Ollie Robinson's inclusion in the series for the first time.
- India without Jasprit Bumrah, opening opportunities for debutant Akash Deep.
- The Ranchi Test presents an opportunity for India to seal the series with a victory.

Feb. 23, 2024 5:22 p.m. 2622

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