"Can’t understand why they’ve prepared a pitch like this" - Stuart Broad baffled by Ranchi track for fourth India-England Test

England Net Session
The low and slow Ranchi wicket has brought England back to life in the Test series

Former England pacer Stuart Broad was surprised by the slow and low Ranchi pitch used for the ongoing fourth India-England Test.

After a 28-run defeat in the first Test in Hyderabad on a turning wicket, India rebounded with back-to-back victories in Vizag and Rajkot to take a 2-1 lead. Both pitches were more batting-friendly, hence neutralizing the effect of the inexperienced English spinners.

However, Ranchi has seemingly brought them back into the game, thanks to a dry track with variable bounce on offer. After winning a crucial toss, England scored a competitive 353 on the back of a masterful century by Joe Root.

In reply, the hosts were done in by the England spinners and found themselves reeling at 219/7 at stumps on Day 2.

Bemused by the Ranchi pitch, Stuart Broad took to his Twitter handle and wrote:

"I mainly tweet about England- but looking at India. They’re an amazing team on flat Test pitches in India where their spinners skill comes into it & they out bowl other teams. Playing on pitches that roll along the floor brings in the opposition so much more. I can’t understand why they’ve prepared a pitch like this?"

While Ravindra Jadeja finished with figures of 4/67, the other two Indian spinners combined for a lone wicket and conceded 105 runs.

Meanwhile, their English counterparts used the turn and variable bounce effectively, with Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir picking up six out of the seven Indian wickets.

While the former grabbed the scalps of Sarfaraz Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin, the latter picked up his first four-wicket haul at any level with figures of 4/84. Bashir's wickets included the dangerous Yashasvi Jaiswal and the ones of Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, and Ravindra Jadeja.

Joe Root silenced his critics with a sensational century

India v England - 4th Test Match: Day One
India v England - 4th Test Match: Day One

Much of the talk between the third and fourth Tests was around Joe Root's surprisingly poor series with the bat and his untimely shot to be dismissed in the first innings of the third Test.

With only 77 runs in six innings at an average of under 13 coming into the Ranchi Test, the 33-year-old turned the table with a memorable century on the opening day. England were struggling at 57/2 and looking further down the barrel at 112/5, yet a determined Root put away his recent unorthodox batting style and dug deep.

The champion batter brought up his 31st Test century with a glorious cover drive and finished unbeaten on 122 to lead England to an above-par total of 353. Furthermore, Root became the first batter to score 10 Test centuries against India.

Earlier in the series, the veteran batter also became the leading run-scorer in the red-ball format against India, overtaking former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

With a lead of 134 and India down to its final three wickets, Root's knock could be the difference between the sides should England emerge victorious and level the five-match series at 2-2.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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