Joe Root to make Yorkshire return in County Championship

Joe Root to make Yorkshire return in County Championship

Joe Root, England’s Test captain, is set to make his long-awaited return to red-ball cricket for Yorkshire in the County Championship. Root, who last played for his county in May 2022, will line up against Gloucestershire in the second round of the competition.

Root’s return is a major boost for Yorkshire, who are aiming to return to Division One after suffering relegation in 2022. The 33-year-old is one of the most experienced and successful batsmen in the world, and his presence in the team will be a huge asset.

Root’s last appearance for Yorkshire came in a T20 Blast match in June 2022. He has since played in the Hundred for Trent Rockets and for England in the Ashes and India series.

Root’s return to Yorkshire will also be a welcome boost for England, who have a busy summer ahead of them. England will host West Indies and Sri Lanka for three-Test series, and will then travel to Pakistan and New Zealand before the end of the year.

Root will be hoping to use the next month to tune up ahead of a bumper six months. He will be looking to regain his form after a disappointing tour of India, during which he scored 320 runs at 35.55.

Yorkshire will be hoping to make the most of the availability of both Root and Harry Brook, who returned to action last week after missing the opening fixture against Leicestershire. Brook, who had not played since England’s white-ball tour of the West Indies in December, returned to action with a crisp unbeaten 100 off just 69 deliveries.

Brook’s last fixture will be against Glamorgan at home, starting May 3, before taking a break ahead of England’s T20 series against Pakistan that leads into the T20 World Cup.

Ashwin Slams England’s Bazball Approach as “Defenseless Cricket”

Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s star spinner, has weighed in on England’s controversial “Bazball” approach, which has sparked heated debates in the cricketing world. Ashwin, who emerged as the highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded five-match series against England, believes that Bazball is not merely about aggressive batting but also involves a lack of defensive strategy.

Ashwin expressed surprise at Joe Root, renowned for his impeccable batting technique, embracing the Bazball approach. “Bazball isn’t just aggressive cricket. It is defenseless cricket,” Ashwin stated on his YouTube channel. “They aren’t going to play a defensive shot at all. They are going to get out if they play defense.”

Ashwin also criticized England’s overconfidence, particularly James Anderson’s assertion that they could chase down a target of 600 in the second Test. “James Anderson went into a press conference and told the press that even if the 4th innings target was 500 or 600, we’ll finish it in 60 overs,” Ashwin said. “It felt like they had gone too far.”

England’s coach, Brendon McCullum, has acknowledged the need for adjustments to the Bazball approach. “Sometimes, you can get away with things,” McCullum admitted. “But when you’re exposed the way we have been in the back end of this series in particular, it does require some pretty deep thinking and some adjustment.”

Ashwin’s analysis highlights the complexities of the Bazball approach. While it has led to some spectacular victories for England, it has also exposed their vulnerability to disciplined bowling. The debate over Bazball is likely to continue as teams seek to find the right balance between aggression and defense.

Gavaskar Lauds Root's Admiration for Ashwin's Bowling Prowess

Gavaskar Lauds Root’s Admiration for Ashwin’s Bowling Prowess

Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary Indian cricketer, recently expressed his admiration for England batter Joe Root’s high regard for Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling prowess. In a heartfelt conversation with Ashwin after the conclusion of the India vs England Test series, Gavaskar highlighted the significance of Root’s praise for the seasoned all-rounder.

Root had earlier acknowledged the formidable challenge posed by Ashwin to premier batters, emphasizing the spinner’s ability to consistently trouble opponents with his crafty bowling variations. Gavaskar echoed these sentiments, stating that Ashwin’s ability to outfox batters with a diverse array of deliveries and tactical maneuvers has always been a highlight of his career.

Ashwin, who marked his 100th Test appearance for Team India in the series, delivered a stellar performance, claiming nine wickets as India clinched victory by an innings and 64 runs. He set a new record by registering the best bowling figures (9 for 128) in a 100th Test, surpassing Muthiah Muralitharan’s record.

Gavaskar conveyed the sentiment shared by many cricket enthusiasts, emphasizing Ashwin’s ability to outwit batters with a diverse array of deliveries and tactical maneuvers. “A lot of good players of spin bowling will be thinking a hundred times about how to cope with you,” Gavaskar remarked, echoing Root’s sentiments.

In response, Ashwin credited his adaptability and willingness to experiment, acknowledging the evolving nature of modern cricket and the importance of staying ahead in a game increasingly influenced by detailed analysis and strategic planning.

Ashwin’s remarkable achievements in Test cricket, including his record-breaking 36 five-wicket hauls, underscore his status as one of India’s premier bowlers. With a stellar performance in the series against England, Ashwin further solidified his reputation as a key asset for the Indian team across all formats.

As Ashwin embarks on his journey beyond the milestone of 100 Tests, his contributions to Indian cricket continue to inspire admiration and reverence from fans and peers alike. With upcoming challenges on the horizon, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Bangladesh Test series, Ashwin’s leadership and expertise are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping India’s cricketing fortunes in the times to come.

India Clinches 4-1 Series Win Over England in Dharamsala

India Clinches 4-1 Series Win Over England in Dharamsala

As the fifth and final Test between India and England reached its third day at the picturesque Dharamsala stadium, the outcome seemed inevitable for the visitors. With half of their team dismissed and the target still distant, a triumph for India appeared imminent. Amidst the bleak situation, England’s seasoned campaigner, Joe Root, led the resistance.

However, an intriguing exchange between young Sarfaraz Khan, stationed at short-leg, and England’s young off-spinner Shoaib Bashir added a touch of levity to the unfolding drama. Overheard on the stump microphone, Sarfaraz quipped, “Hit it quickly and finish the game, we will go up on the snow for a walk.” His sentiment resonated with players and spectators alike, eager to explore the tourist destination nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Before the tea interval, England’s resistance crumbled, culminating in a comprehensive innings-and-64-run victory for India in just two-and-a-half days. This triumph sealed a 4-1 series win for India, granting fans a weekend to indulge in the scenic beauty of the region.

Following England’s impressive comeback victory in the first Test at Hyderabad, India’s dominance at home appeared to be under threat. However, over the next six weeks, India showcased their prowess by winning four Tests and unearthing a cadre of young match-winners.

India’s coach, Rahul Dravid, acknowledged the absence of key players like Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami but lauded the contributions of the younger generation. Dravid praised Rohit Sharma’s leadership and the team’s collective effort, emphasizing their ability to play aggressive and entertaining cricket even on fair pitches.

Joe Root Surges to No. 2 in ICC Test Batting Rankings

Joe Root Surges to No. 2 in ICC Test Batting Rankings

Joe Root has ascended to the No. 2 spot in the ICC Test batting rankings, trailing only New Zealand’s Kane Williamson. This surge follows Steven Smith’s recent dip in form, which saw him fall below 800 points for the first time since 2014.

Root’s resurgence, marked by a century against India in Ranchi last month, has been the primary beneficiary of Smith’s decline. Since assuming the role of Australia’s Test opener, Smith has struggled, posting scores of 31 and 0 in the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Smith’s teammate Marnus Labuschagne, another former No. 1-ranked batter, has also fallen out of the top ten for the first time since December 2019. His meager total of three runs in the same match has contributed to his slide. Travis Head, who achieved a career-best ranking of No. 2 during last year’s Ashes, has also slipped to No. 12 after twin scores of 1 and 29.

Head’s decline has paved the way for three Indian batters to rise in the rankings. Yashaswi Jaiswal has broken into the top ten for the first time, amassing 665 runs in the ongoing series against England. Rohit Sharma follows closely at No. 11, while Virat Kohli climbs one place to No. 8 despite missing the series due to the recent birth of his child.

Cameron Green has been the most significant climber in the batting rankings this week. His match-winning 174 not out in Australia’s first innings at Wellington has propelled him 22 places to 23rd position, a career-best tally of 661 points.

Williamson, with 870 points, maintains a comfortable lead over Root (799) at the top of the rankings. His remarkable run of seven centuries in his last eight Tests has solidified his dominance.

On the bowling front, Nathan Lyon’s 10-wicket match haul against New Zealand has elevated him two places to No. 6 in the rankings, just two points shy of his career-best tally at Edgbaston last year. Glenn Phillips, New Zealand’s offspinning allrounder, has made significant gains on both the batting and bowling fronts, while Matt Henry has climbed into the top 20 for the first time after taking eight wickets in the match.

Ireland’s historic Test victory against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi has also impacted the rankings. Mark Adair’s eight wickets in the match have moved him up 30 slots to 69th position on the bowling charts, while Andy Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Paul Stirling, and Andy McBrine have all moved into the top 100 in the batting rankings. Hashmatullah Shahidi has gained five places to reach 81st position among the batters, while Naveed Zadran has moved up 32 places to 79th among the bowlers.

Ashwin Reflects on Challenges and Opponents Ahead of 100th Test

Ashwin Reflects on Challenges and Opponents Ahead of 100th Test

Ravichandran Ashwin, the veteran Indian off-spinner, is on the cusp of a significant milestone as he prepares for his 100th Test match. Reflecting on his illustrious career, Ashwin has expressed his admiration for some of the finest batters he has encountered, both domestically and internationally.

Ashwin singled out Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root as the most formidable opponents he has faced. “I have loved bowling to Steve Smith, Williamson, and Joe Root. They are some of the finest batters going around the world now,” he said.

The 37-year-old spinner acknowledged that his domestic experiences also played a crucial role in his development. “I had the privilege of bowling to some of the gun batters of spin in first-class cricket,” he said, naming S Badrinath, Mithun Manhas, and Rajat Bhatia as players who helped him hone his skills.

Ashwin’s journey to the international stage was not solely based on his white-ball prowess. “I had a good 30-40 matches in first-class cricket before I made it to the Indian team,” he emphasized.

Despite his success in limited-overs cricket, Ashwin remains committed to club cricket. “I played 3-4 years of club cricket in Chennai, probably mentored by seniors, told where I made mistakes, corrected my discipline, bowled long spells,” he said.

Ashwin’s Test debut came in 2011, and he has since become one of India’s most successful bowlers in the format. He recently became only the second Indian after Anil Kumble to cross 500 wickets in Tests.

“A lot of things need to go your way when you have to get a breakthrough and also continue playing for so many years. I am indebted for all those things,” he said.

Joe Root Praises Ashwin's Unpredictable Bowling and Aggressive Mindset

Joe Root Praises Ashwin’s Unpredictable Bowling and Aggressive Mindset

Ravichandran Ashwin’s exceptional bowling prowess has left an indelible mark on the cricketing world, earning him accolades from renowned batters like Joe Root. The veteran Indian off-spinner’s relentless pursuit of wickets and aggressive mindset have made him a constant threat to opposition batsmen.

Ashwin’s versatility is a key factor in his success. Unlike traditional off-spinners, he employs a wide range of deliveries, including over-spin, side-spin, and the deceptive carrom ball. This unpredictability keeps batters guessing and forces them to adapt constantly.

Root, who has faced Ashwin on numerous occasions, highlighted the off-spinner’s ability to bowl six different deliveries in an over. Ashwin’s clever use of the crease and seam position allows him to exploit different angles and create wicket-taking opportunities.

In contrast to Nathan Lyon, another premier off-spinner, Ashwin focuses on getting batters out rather than wearing them down. He uses his variations to disrupt the batter’s rhythm and force them into mistakes.

Despite England’s struggles in the ongoing Test series against India, Root remains optimistic about the team’s approach. He believes that the top order has shown consistency, and the team is committed to finding the best balance between attacking and pragmatic batting.

Jonny Bairstow, who is set to play his 100th Test in Dharamsala, has faced some challenges with the bat. However, Root expressed confidence in his fellow Yorkshireman’s ability to overcome these setbacks and make a significant contribution to the team.

DRS Controversy Erupts After Joe Root's Controversial Dismissal

DRS Controversy Erupts After Joe Root’s Controversial Dismissal

Joe Root’s controversial LBW dismissal in the fourth India-England Test in Ranchi has sparked a heated debate over the use of DRS (decision review system). The England camp has vehemently criticized the technology, demanding its abolition, while former skipper Michael Vaughan has labeled Root’s dismissal a “shocker.”

Paul Hawkins, founder of Hawk-Eye, the technology provider for DRS, has hit back at Vaughan’s comments, dismissing them as “uneducated.” He maintains that the correct decision was made by third umpire Joel Wilson in overturning on-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena’s call.

Hawkins has accused Vaughan of lacking understanding of the technology and its operation. He has urged journalists to be more responsible in their reporting and to ensure factual accuracy.

Vaughan, in response, has demanded full transparency from Hawk-Eye, requesting them to demonstrate the exact workings of the system. He believes that this will help dispel any misconceptions and provide a clearer understanding of how DRS operates.

The DRS controversy has cast a shadow over the ongoing Test series, which India has already clinched with an unassailable 3-1 lead. The fifth and final game will commence in Dharamsala on March 7.

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