Way back in 1987 World Cup a certain Graham Gooch employed the sweep strokes effectively against the Indian spinners at the same venue. The tall opener, now the batting coach of the England, swept India out of the World Cup by scoring 115.
With Indian spinners having a stranglehold on the England batsmen in this series, Gooch’s mantra of sweep shots was the only way to disturb the rhythm of left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and the two off-spinners (R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh).
England captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen effectively employed the sweep shots on the day. It not only fetched runs for the visiting team and it also injured two Indian fielders, who were positioned at short leg. The first fielder to receive a nasty blow was Cheteshwar Pujara, who got hit on the ribs and had to retire to the pavilion.
Ajinkya Rahane, who came as the substitute fielder, took that position and he too was at the receiving end.
Rahane was hit thrice by the left-handed Cook but managed to stay put before Pietersen’s powerful sweep sent him back to the pavilion. Ishant Sharma came in for a brief while before Murali Vijay replaced him and took the close-in position.
Later on, Pujara said he got hit on his ribs. “I got a little bit of soreness on my ribs. But I should be fine. Ajinkya (Rahane) is also fine. There is little bit of soreness in his elbow and he’s icing it up,” he said.