Unconventional practice session puts Root on road to success


Joe Root believes a brief practice session on a road helped him to score 88 on day one of the fifth Test between India and England in Chennai.

Root was unable to make use of the net facilities at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on the eve of the game, due to the damage caused by a recent cyclone, so opted to receive throwdowns from batting coach Mark Ramprakash on a road inside the stadium grounds.

Having been unhappy with his footwork when facing seam bowling during the previous Test in Mumbai, England's vice-captain felt the session was beneficial as he went on to share in a valuable stand of 146 with centurion Moeen Ali on Friday, after Alastair Cook had won the toss.

"My feet were all over the place against the seamers in Mumbai, so I wanted to iron a few things out," Root is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"We tried to do it away from the cameras just in case it went pear-shaped. We were kindly helped by a few of the local guys and managed to get a few things sorted.

"It was nice to have that peace of mind going into the game, having worked on it. Something just clicked into place.

"To go back to being a kid again and remember what it's like to play on a street with your mates, and get those reasons why you love playing and why you first got into cricket, to park all the pressure and think about the game ... that was nice.

"It did just relax me, and maybe that's all it needed."

England - who have already lost the five-Test series - reached stumps on 284-4, with Moeen unbeaten on 120 alongside Ben Stokes (5 not out).