Veteran England batsman Joe Root switched his batting handle from right to left after bringing up his half-century during the first Test between Pakistan and England in Rawalpindi on Sunday.
Joe Root just hits left handed. Remarkable pic.twitter.com/CXUr3dLCS8
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) December 4, 2022
Two balls later, however, he returned to his more typical stance and reverse-swept spinner Zahid Mahmood for four.
But the Pakistani spinner had the last laugh as he tricked Root by bowling off the leg and forced the Englishman to make a conventional sweep shot, leading to a top edge and a simple catch on the fine leg.
Root isn’t the first batter to change positions in the middle of an innings.
Former India Test great Sunil Gavaskar had batted left-handed for Bombay (Mumbai) against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy semi-final in 1982.
Facing a heavy bowling attack led by former Indian left arm spinner Raghuram Bhat on a surface turning viciously, Gavaskar opted to bat left-handed in the second innings on the fourth and final day of the match. Gavaskar came to bat as number eight, guided his team to safety and remained undefeated at 18.
Previously, England lost two early wickets to reach 46/2 at lunchtime on Day 4 as they tried to force a result after Pakistan’s lower order dug in to cut the visitors’ lead to 78 in the first innings in the first test on Sunday.
Offspinner Will Jacks, who was given a last-minute Test debut after Ben Foakes had to sit out with a viral infection, took 6-161 on a wicket and did little favor to the bowlers before eventually knocking Pakistan out for 579 in his first innings.
England lost first innings century makers Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope to reach 46–2 in seven overs before lunch for an overall lead of 124 runs.