Ashes 2023 | Twitter reacts as Joe Root's frantic 'Bazball' antics end with unplayable delivery

Ashes 2023 | Twitter reacts as Joe Root's frantic 'Bazball' antics end with unplayable delivery

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Joe Root's dream of a second century in the series was cut short by Josh Hazlewood

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ESPN Cricinfo/ Getty

The 'Bazball' era of Test cricket has effectively been about expecting the unexpected and Joe Root's innings on Thursday epitomized the mantra. The batter uncharacteristically went after the bowling throughout his rapid knock and it fittingly took an erratic delivery from Hazlewood to dismiss him.

England dominated proceedings on Day 2 of the fourth Ashes Test, largely courtesy of brilliant knocks by Zak Crawley and Joe Root to take the hosts to a first-innings lead of 34 by the time both departed the crease. While the former's knock of 189 was well aligned with his usual aggressive style of play, his partner in crime looked in an inspired mood when he came on to the crease at 130/2 and went about his business with unusual aplomb. The former England skipper eventually departed on 84 off just 95 deliveries, exhibiting an extravagant array of shots in the process, and was only undone by the Old Trafford pitch playing dirty tricks on him.

Up against Hazlewood in the 62nd over, the right-arm pacer started the six-ball stint with a delivery pitched very straight and just short of a length. Root seemed to judge the trajectory of the ball early and got into a comfortable position for a textbook defence, with no idea he was in for a massive surprise. The Dukes simply refused to rise once it hit the pitch and beat the batter all hands up, passing by Root's shin to rattle into the middle stump and send the bails flying. The batter could not believe his luck having been so close to a 31st Test ton as he took a moment for the horrid nature of his dismissal to sink in before slowly trotting back to the pavilion.

Nevertheless, Twitter was all praise for the masterful knock by Root, featuring eight boundaries and an audacious reverse ramp for six, and also expressed their sympathies for the untimely wicket.

Absolute beauty from Hazelwood!

Century missed

No one

Impossible

Unplayable

Catching up

He can't play that

Unlucky

Horrible

Awful

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