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Michael Holding says “huge” wicket of Joe Root means India are “extremely happy”

England captain Joe Root was out for 21 late on day one of the fourth Test against India, getting bowled by Umesh Yadav

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Silverwood: Credit due to India’s tailend batsmen

Legendary West Indies quick Michael Holding believes India will be “extremely happy” after day one of their fourth Test against England, after picking up the key wicket of Joe Root shortly before the close of play.

India got bowled out for just 191 in their innings, with tail-ender Shardul Thakur top scoring with a counter-attacking 57.

In response, England lost three wickets, with Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed and the newly crowned number one Test batsman Root falling as England closed the day on 53-3.

And Holding believes the “huge wicket” of Root and Thakur’s explosive innings mean India will actually be “very happy with the situation”.



England captain Joe Root was out for 21 late on day one of the fourth Test against India, getting bowled by Umesh Yadav
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Image:

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)




Speaking on Sky Sports, Holding said: “That’s a huge wicket to get rid of Joe Root for 21. Huge!

“I wouldn’t actually say that England are just ahead at the moment; I think that India are very happy with the situation.

“They didn’t expect to get anywhere near 191 with the bat – thinking perhaps 150, 160 – so to get that score and then have England 53-3, with Root back in the pavilion, they’ll be extremely happy!”









Thakur said he felt the game is now “equally poised”, telling Sky Sports: “When Rishabh got out, it was important for me to play such an innings.

“There are two ways: you can either be patient and bank on all of the partners coming in, or if it’s in your slot hit it.

“There is no right or wrong way – runs are runs – but today was a day where I was connecting properly, so I kept going for the shots.



Shardul Thakur scored the fastest ever Test fifty at The Oval
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Image:

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)




“Wickets kept falling at regular intervals, but we did well to get up to 190. Right now the game is equally poised; we have a chance. Let’s see how tomorrow goes.”

Chris Woakes, who picked up 4-55 in his return to Test cricket, was largely in agreement with Thakur’s assessment, saying he felt the game is “in the balance”.

He told Sky Sports: “I think [it has been] a relatively good day still. When you win a toss and put a team into bat, to bowl them out for 191 is almost pretty much job done, but to lose three tonight, including Joe, kind of keeps it in the balance.




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