In the 2023 World Cup game against Afghanistan, Joe Root of England executed an incredible sliding catch near the boundary at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
This catch held significant importance during the late overs of the first innings as it resulted in the dismissal of the dangerous Rashid Khan, renowned for his powerful hits in the final stages of matches in both international and franchise cricket.
At that point in the match, Rashid was building a composed innings, preparing for a strong finish. On the first delivery of the 45th over, he decided to challenge the leg-spinner Adil Rashid by attempting a lofted shot towards the long-on region.
Regrettably for Afghanistan, Rashid Khan, at 25 years old, couldn’t generate sufficient power or height in his shot. Joe Root reacted quickly, moving to his right, and managed to execute an exceptional sliding catch.
You can view the video of Joe Root’s catch here:
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Afghanistan scored 284 in the first innings against England, and Joe Root took four catches
England’s captain, Jos Buttler, won the toss and chose to field first. Afghanistan’s opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, played brilliantly, scoring a dynamic half-century. However, Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, made a costly error while running and ended Gurbaz’s innings.
Subsequently, England’s bowlers limited Afghanistan to 190/6 as the middle-order batsmen couldn’t build on Gurbaz’s performance. Ikram Alikhil, scoring 58 runs, played an impressive innings while Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman contributed 28 runs each, helping Afghanistan reach a competitive total of 284.
Joe Root had an exceptional performance in the field, taking four catches and even securing a wicket with his off-spin. Additionally, Liam Livingstone, who doesn’t often bowl, delivered an economical 10-over spell, conceding only 30 runs and taking a wicket.
Considering the events of the first innings during the interval, he mentioned: “Looked like a good pitch first up. I think the reason we bowled first was hoping the dew comes in and makes it a bit better second time out. It was a bit harder against spin but it was a good pitch overall. I just tried to keep the stumps in play as much as I could. Thankfully it came out nice today.”
He added: “It’s something I’ve worked pretty hard on obviously knowing what was coming up this World Cup. Sometimes I’m not needed and sometimes I’m thrown into the deep end like today. It’s something I pride on. Thankfully it came out well today. It’s quite hard working on both of them – making sure my leg-spin is coming out well, I’ve been working on my off-spin as well. It’s something I enjoy.”