'He bats better left-handed than I did right': ENG coach Collingwood lifts lid on Root's batting tactic vs PAK - Watch
More than the target England set, it has been Joe Root's tactic that has been the talk of Day 4 and England's assistant coach Paul Collingwood lifted the lid on why the former England captain batted left-handed against Pakistan.
England have been bold in their approach in the ongoing Test series opener against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, trying to add a new dynamics to the format. The Bazball approach already saw them notch up a plethora of runs in the Test match across the two innings before they pulled off a brave move on Sunday evening as they declared their second innings on 264-7 to set Pakistan an improbable victory target of 343 with four sessions to go. But more than the target, it has been Joe Root's tactic that has been the talk of Day 4 and England's assistant coach Paul Collingwood lifted the lid on why the former England captain batted left-handed against Pakistan.
It wasn't through the majority of the Test match though. On Day 4, after he completed his fifty, he shocked world cricket by deciding to bat left-handed against leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood. He did survive a catch dismissal when he looked to sweep the tossed up delivery towards mid-wicket, but he stuck to his tactic.
He eventually scored 73 off 69 as England amassed 264 for seven before deciding to declare the innings. Talking to the presser at day end, Collingwood revealed the tactic behind Root's approach.
“Well he does, sometimes (on practicing left-handed batting in the nets). I think he bats better left-handed than I did right handed. He has obviously got some skill if you can go out and bat left-handed in a Test match. We just try and find ways to go against convention and put the opposition under pressure. If leg-spinners go into the rough and to counter that he can bat left-handed then go for it,” he said.
Ben Stokes and Ollie Robinson picked the wickets of Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique respectively while Azhar Ali walked out retired hurt leaving Pakistan at 80 for 2 at end of Day 4. Pakistan need 263 runs on the final day to pull off a victory.