Indian skipper Rohit Sharma was elated as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin secured a crucial breakthrough by dismissing England’s experienced batter Joe Root during the visitors’ pursuit of 399 runs in the 4th innings of the 2nd Test at Vishakhapatnam’s ACA-VDCA stadium.
This marked Ashwin’s 499th Test wicket and his third in the 4th innings. Earlier, he claimed the dismissals of opening batter Ben Duckett and 1st Test’s man of the match, Ollie Pope, with scores of 28 and 23, respectively. However, it was Root’s wicket that triggered an animated response from Rohit Sharma.
England’s substantial run chase faced early setbacks, losing four wickets. The team faces a daunting task to navigate through day 4 and extend the game into day 5. While their aggressive approach has worked on Indian soil in the past, patience will be key in this challenging run chase.
WATCH – Rohit Sharma’s Brilliance Shines With Sharp Catch To Dismiss Ollie PopeEngland’s opening batters, Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley, initiated a 50-run stand for the 4th time in the Test series before Duckett’s departure in the 11th over of day 3’s closing session. Night watchman Rehan Ahmed held fort until the 1st session of day 4 but fell to an lbw off Axar Patel at 23.
Subsequently, Ollie Pope took the crease but failed to capitalize on his start. Ravichandran Ashwin claimed his 498th Test wicket by dismissing Pope for 23 runs. The mounting pressure took its toll on Joe Root, who struggled to replicate his usual Test cricket prowess in this series.
Root, boasting over 11,000 runs in red-ball cricket, has faced a slump in form, registering scores of 29, 2, 5, and 16 in the first two Tests. In the latest innings, he attempted to counter Ashwin’s crafty bowling but misjudged the line, resulting in a leading edge and a simple catch for Rohit Sharma.
With this wicket, Ravichandran Ashwin stands just one dismissal away from achieving the milestone of 500 Test scalps. The question lingers: will he accomplish this feat in the ongoing match or in the subsequent Tests in Rajkot, Ranchi, and Dharamshala? Only time will reveal the answer.