Rawalpindi: Star batter Joe Root stunned the cricket world on Sunday when he took the strike and batted left-handed on Day 4 of the first Test between Pakistan and England, here.
Root made the most of the batter-friendly conditions in Rawalpindi when he faced up left-handed to Zahid Mahmood for the first two deliveries of the Pakistan spinner’s sixth over. It happened in the 23rd over of England’s second innings, shortly after the former England captain completed his half-century.
He swept the first ball directly to the fielder at square leg and could not find a run. In the second ball, Root executed the same shot but it was in the air this time. Naseem Shah stationed near mid-wicket made a full-length dive, but was slow to react and hence only managed to get the fingertips on it.
The 31-year-old took the hint as he quickly ditched the idea and played the remainder of his innings as he usually does as a right-hander and was ironically out-sweeping Mahmood later in his innings.
Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq held on to the catch this time as Root was dismissed for 73 as England continued the aggressive approach they have displayed consistently throughout this first Test.
At stumps on Day 4, Pakistan were 80/2 and needed 263 runs to win the first Test against England.