Joe Root is expected to bat in the second innings after missing the majority of the Day 3’s play on Sunday due to an injury. Root suffered a minor blow to his right little finger in the first session and left the field to seek medical treatment.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed Root’s finger injury but did not reveal the batter’s availability for the remaining two days. However, the veteran fast bowler James Anderson revealed that the premier batter is likely to bat on Day 4 as he was only taking precautions on Sunday.
“His finger is not great,” said Anderson. “He took a blow in training this morning and again on the field. It’s just making sure that is as good as it can be for when he bats. Hopefully tomorrow he’ll turn up at the ground and be okay to hold a bat. He was just making sure he could do everything he could to help us out in the second innings, just making sure it’s as good as possible for tomorrow. There’s a chance we will need him with the bat so it’s making sure he can hold a bat.
“I don’t think there’s concerns. It’s making sure he’s as good as he can be. There’s no point risking it for an external blow, no point risking it further out in the middle, so it’s making sure he’s good enough to bat.”
Root’s availability will be crucial for the visiting side as they are chasing a mammoth 399-run target in the fourth innings at Visakhapatnam’s ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. They already managed to add quick 67 runs on Day 3 at the loss of Ben Duckett and fancy a 332-run target with two days left in the second Test match.
Root, who boasts 11,447 runs in Test cricket, has scored only 36 runs in three innings in the ongoing series. But the right-handed batter has recorded over 2,500 runs against India in red-ball cricket and will be a key player in England’s chances of chasing a record target on Day 4.