Ashes: Joe Root steps up as the perfect replacement for Moeen Ali’s injured finger

On a crucial Day 5 of the Ashes opener, England’s Joe Root provided his team with a much-needed breakthrough as Australian batsman Alex Carey departed, boosting England’s hopes of securing a vital victory in the series.

Root, who had earlier dropped a tough chance off his own bowling, seized the opportunity this time as he held on to a sharp catch to dismiss Carey. With Australia needing less than 50 runs for victory and England requiring just two wickets to win, the game hung in the balance, and Root’s breakthrough came at a crucial juncture.


As Root delivered a quicker delivery aimed at the stumps, Carey boldly danced out of his crease, looking to meet the ball head-on. However, his aggressive stroke only found the waiting hands of Root, who reacted swiftly and grabbed the catch with both hands in a reverse cup position. The crowd erupted in celebration as Carey’s innings came to an end, scoring 20 runs from 50 deliveries, including two boundaries.

Root’s redemption was met with applause, and his catch proved pivotal in England’s pursuit of victory. It showcased his ability to bounce back from previous disappointments and make a significant impact on the game when it mattered most.

Credit is also due to Ben Stokes’ captaincy, as he made the decision to persist with the old ball despite the option of taking the new ball. Stokes demonstrated his trust in Root’s bowling capabilities, which ultimately paid off with the crucial wicket of Carey. With only one primary spinner, Moeen Ali, who is struggling with a blistered finger, Root’s ability to step up as a backup spinner has proven invaluable.

The match now hangs on a knife’s edge, with Australia needing less than 50 runs to secure an improbable victory and England requiring just two wickets to claim triumph. The tension is palpable as every delivery becomes a potential game-changer.

As the Ashes opener reaches its climax, fans around the world are captivated by the intense battle between these two cricketing giants. The skill, determination, and resilience exhibited by both teams have made this contest a true spectacle.