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“I have never seen him smile as much” – Graeme Swann delighted for Joe Root after skipper’s fifer

Joe Root got his first five-wicket haul on Thursday
Joe Root got his first five-wicket haul on Thursday
Wasiq Agha
ANALYST
Modified 25 Feb 2021
News

Graeme Swann was all praise for Joe Root after the England skipper bagged an unbelievable five-wicket haul against India on Day 2. The former England spinner admitted he has never seen Joe Root as happy, insisting the milestone will give the England captain more joy than some of his famous centuries.

Joe Root came on to bowl on Day 2 and bagged a wicket with his first ball. He then got another one in the first ball of his third over, with Joe Root's figures reading 3-3-0-3 at one stage. The England skipper later completed his five-wicket haul, becoming the first captain since Bob Willis to take a fifer.

Speaking during the mid-innings show on Star Sports, Graeme Swann was all praise for Joe Root, calling him the man of the moment.

“Joe Root has scored so many centuries and double centuries for England. I have never seen him smile as much as that when he walked off the field. 5 for 8, I mean that’s almost lunacy. Look at Joe Root how happy he is. I have never seen him smile like that. Man of the moment is Joe Root absolutely,” said Graeme Swann.

Joe Root turned the game on his head after he came on to bowl. India were 117/5 at the start of his spell, and Joe Root soon wrapped up India’s lower order.

He started with the huge wicket of Rishabh Pant, enticing him to nick one to the keeper with a loopy delivery outside off. Joe Root then bowled a stunning double-wicket maiden next, sending back Washington Sundar and Axar Patel in quick succession.

Ravichandran Ashwin succumbed to the England skipper’s guile too, getting out while trying to attack the spinner. Joe Root completed his first-ever five-wicket haul with the wicket of Jasprit Bumrah, trapping him LBW to end with figures of 6.2-3-8-5.

Graeme Swann not surprised by Joe Root’s fifer

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Although Graeme Swann rejoiced at England’s comeback, the former cricketer admitted he saw the collapse coming. Talking about how England struggled against Indian spinners on Day 1, Swann suggested the pitch makes it difficult to face spin early on.

“It’s been a brilliant morning for England. But this could have always happened. Yesterday when England lost all those wickets, they were 70 odd for 2. As soon as good spinners get bowling on this pitch it’s almost difficult for the new man at the crease. For the first 10 balls, you’re so vulnerable,” explained Graeme Swann.

A recurring theme of the Ahmedabad Test has been how batsmen have played down the wrong line. Playing for the turn that never came, many batsmen have succumbed to straighter deliveries.

In a Test where only a handful of batsmen survived more than 50 deliveries, Graeme Swann suggested batsmen’s technique has been found wanting over the first two days.

“We haven’t got players like VVS Laxman who can walk out to bat and hit you over extra cover to get you out of trouble these days. These guys don’t play spin that well. They stay in the crease,” he concluded.
Published 25 Feb 2021, 17:05 IST
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