England vs India: Joe Root fails to convert again as Virat Kohli run-out sparks First Test collapse

JOE ROOT has now made eleven straight half-centuries in Test cricket without converting any of them into three figures.

And, if that stat doesn't contort his emotions with rage, the manner and consequences of his dismissal on the opening day of the series against India will send him apoplectic.

 Joe Root came up short again in his pursuit of a Test ton - and then watched his England side collapse

AP:Associated Press
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Joe Root came up short again in his pursuit of a Test ton – and then watched his England side collapse

India cricket captain Virat Kohli mocks England captain Joe Root for his recent mic drop celebration

Root was run out for 80 after a suicidal call from Jonny Bairstow.

The executioner was his opposite number Virat Kohli with a direct hit – and, boy, how Kohli milked the moment.

The passionate, animated, frequently angry Indian captain blew a couple of kisses, put a finger to his mouth as if to say “shooosh” and even mocked Root with a mic dropping gesture.

Don’t forget that Root dropped his bat, microphone-style, after reaching a one-day century with the winning boundary at Headingley last month. Kohli certainly hasn’t forgotten.

 Root was left floundering when Kohli scored a direct hit to run him out

Getty – Contributor
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Root was left floundering when Kohli scored a direct hit to run him out
 Virat Kohli taunted Joe Root with his own mic drop after running out the England captain

Getty Images – Getty
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Virat Kohli taunted Joe Root with his own mic drop after running out the England captain

Now we know why Root said it was the most embarrassing thing he has done on a cricket field.

To add insult to ignominy, Root’s departure prompted a collapse in which England lost three wickets for eight runs, then four for 27 and six for 67.

Bairstow dragged on a ball from Umesh Yadav for 70 and Jos Buttler was lbw to Ravi Ashwin for a second-ball duck, an unhappy start to his vice-captaincy.

Then Ben Stokes offered the tamest return catch imaginable to Ashwin via a front edge and the Durham all-rounder thrust back his head in a mixture of anger and disbelief.

Keaton Jennings reacts to the Virat Kohli Joe Root situation and the opening day of the First Test against India

 India captain Virat Kohli gives Joe Root the send off after claiming his wicket

AP:Associated Press
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India captain Virat Kohli gives Joe Root the send off after claiming his wicket

In the blink of an eye, the heart had been ripped from England’s batting. A promising position had become a precarious one.

By the close of day one of the First Test at Edgbaston, England were 285-9 and buoyed a touch by some late boundaries from Sam Curran.

But England would have been all out if Curran had not been dropped in the final over by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik off Shami.

It was a maddeningly sloppy final session by England. In Test cricket, they have to be more ruthless, more aware, if they are going to improve on a recent record which shows six defeats in their last nine matches.

This Indian team – driven on with such vigour by Kohli – are No.1 in the world and in the mood to make England pay for such errors.

England cricket hero Joe Root does an amazing bat drop after completing ODI series win over India

All was going to plan as a fourth-wicket partnership of 104 between Root and Bairstow seemed the perfect liaison on Yorkshire Day.

Root went past 6,000 runs in Test cricket less than six years after his debut and in his 127th innings, which is the fourth-fewest for England behind only Wally Hammond (114), Len Hutton and Ken Barrington (both 116).

He was playing well, without being at his fluent best, flicking through mid-wicket and cutting behind square on the offside. In England’s 1000th Test, Root appeared destined finally to end his century drought.

Bairstow was more aggressive although several shots that would have been four elsewhere earned only twos and threes because of the lush, sluggish outfield. There’s been no hosepipe ban at Edgbaston.

 Jos Buttler lasted just two balls before he was dismissed for a duck as England collapsed following a steady start

AP:Associated Press
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Jos Buttler lasted just two balls before he was dismissed for a duck as England collapsed following a steady start

But Bairstow’s request for a second run – few if any batsmen are as quick as him between the wickets and definitely not Root – was a massive turning point.

Root’s complete Test record shows he has reached fifty 54 times and has converted only 13 of them. It is a flaw preventing him being recognised as a global great batsman.

Root won the toss, chose to bat and had no cause for regret until the final third of the day.

Alastair Cook perished to an absolute jaffa from the excellent Ashwin, which pitched on middle stump and turned and bounced past the left-hander’s outside edge to rattle the off peg.

Keaton Jennings, dropped on nine when fourth slip Ajinkya Rahane dived and tried to cling onto an edge that was heading straight to Kohli at third slip, played proficiently enough.

India cricket captain Virat Kohli mocks England captain Joe Root for his recent mic drop celebration

The Lancashire leftie reached 42 when a defensive shot to the impressive Mohammed Shami trickled backwards onto the stumps and removed the off bail. A white bail, too, as white stumps were being used in a Test for the first time in England. Jennings could count himself unlucky.

It came the ball after a pigeon stopped play.

Jennings and Root tried to coax the bird into flight but it had stationed itself at short mid-wicket as Shami ran in to bowl.

Only Jennings knows if he was distracted.

Dawid Malan’s stay was brief. He survived one review for leg before against Ashwin but was then trapped in front by Shami.

The century stand between Root and Bairstow was ended by the fateful run out that changed everything. Root, Bairstow, Buttler and Stokes departed in rapid succession and then Adil Rashid, who received a warm welcome after his controversial selection, was leg before for 13. Stuart Broad was also soon lbw.

The official crowd figure was 18,159 – the capacity is 23,500 – which was not too bad for a Wednesday, a notoriously difficult sell for the first day of a Test.

JOE ROOT has now made eleven straight half-centuries in Test cricket without converting any of them into three figures.