“Those shots keep us in the game…” Marnus Labuschagne On Root’s Playing Style In First Ashes Test 2023

The first Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston witnessed a dramatic victory for the Australian team. On the fourth day, one of the pivotal moments in the game was the reckless dismissal of England’s best player, Joe Root. Root’s dismissal has been singled out as a major reason Australia secured a thrilling win.

Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne highlighted the significance of Root’s playing style and his dismissal in keeping Australia in the game. Labuschagne praised Root’s aggressive approach, which provided Australia with opportunities. Despite Root’s incredible innings, he fell short of converting his 40 runs into a potentially match-winning score. Labuschagne recognized that if Root had reached 80 or more, Australia would have faced a much steeper target of 300 runs to chase.

“From my perspective, him playing that method and those shots keep us in the game,” Labuschagne said.

“I use that second inning as an example. He probably had an opportunity to shut us out and take the game away from us completely. But the method and the way he was playing kept us in the game, and he played an unbelievable inning, but he ended up getting 40 [46] and if he turns that 40 into 80-plus, we’re chasing 300, and that will be a pretty big effort.”

“So I think that’s the benefit for us, the way they play. They’re playing aggressive cricket, and he’s doing it with a different method, which is great, but it brings in other opportunities for us. Hopefully, at some point in the series, that will keep paying off.” Labuschagne further added.

Joe Root’s dismissal on day four of the Test match epitomized England losing control in the game. Having scored close to 400 runs on the first day and maintaining a favourable position throughout, England seemed to be in command. Root’s unbeaten century in the first innings established his dominance, and he appeared set for another significant score in the second innings. However, his inexplicable decision to charge spinner Nathan Lyon resulted in his stumping, marking the first time he suffered such a dismissal in his illustrious career.

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England’s second innings witnessed several players making significant contributions, with ten players reaching double figures and three even reaching the 40s. However, none of them managed to convert their starts into a half-century, leaving Australia with a gettable target of 282 runs for victory. Ultimately, an unbeaten ninth-wicket partnership between captain Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon secured Australia’s triumph. Yet, it is crucial to acknowledge that England should never have left the door ajar for such a partnership to occur.

Some have perceived England’s reaction to the loss as celebratory, focusing more on the entertainment value of the match rather than recognizing the need to win the series to regain the Ashes. While the match provided thrilling moments for spectators, England must maintain a competitive mindset and focus on reclaiming the Ashes from Australia.

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