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India v England

Deciphering Manoj Tiwary’s incredibly detailed plan for how to dismiss Joe Root

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Joe Root’s incredible innings sealed the first Test in Chennai for England and as the second one looms at the very same venue, former India player Manoj Tiwary has a few insights into how to counter the England skipper.

The veteran Indian cricketer has come up with a full-fledged plan for the Indian bowlers on tackling Root, who is in red hot form. The England captain has first-innings scores of 228, 186 and 218 in his last three Test matches and has been exceptional against the spinners in particular.

Root became the first player to score a double hundred in their 100th Test and laid the foundation for England’s massive win. He was rarely troubled by the spinners, with his sweep shots putting Ravichandran Ashwin and the others under pressure.

Tiwary took to Twitter to propose a solution to a question that should be a heated discussion in the Indian dressing room ahead of the second Test at the same venue: How to stop Joe Root?

Tiwary’s plan is for the two India off-spinners, Ashwin and Washington Sundar. The sweep shot is Root’s go-to shot against the spinners and Tiwary’s plan has a leg-side heavy field placement.

Interestingly, there is no slip catcher for the off-spinners against Root, but there is a leg-slip and short-leg as close-in fielders. The short mid-wicket is another fielder in a catching position. Tiwary also has a short square-leg and a deep square leg, stationed 20 yards inside the boundary rope.

The mid-off and short third-man are the only two fielders on the off-side. Tiwary called this an in-out field and described it as a ploy to cut down the sweep shot that fetches him a lot of runs in the sub-continent.

He specifically states that the field is for a wicket that takes a lot of turn, and explains that playing through the vacant cover region would not be as easy when the ball is sharply turning into him.

India need to find a way to stop Root, and maybe the answer has just been handed to them.

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