Former England captain Joe Root has been batting on another level from the rest of the batters and is now set to overtake Marnus Labuschagne as the number 1 ICC Test batsman following his century – his 27th Test ton – at Trent Bridge against New Zealand, which followed the match-winning hundred at Lord’s in the first Test.
This, a 176-run knock off 211 balls, was also Root’s fastest Test century- coming off 116 balls – that helped England amass 539 runs, along with Ollie Pope’s 145. This was in reply to New Zealand’s first innings total of 553.
While returning to the dressing room after completing his ton for tea on Day 3, Root halted himself on the stairs just to sign a little kid’s bat. The kid was overjoyed with England’s leading Test run-getter signing his bat and his day was made.
That was me 20 years ago: Joe Root explains why he signed the bat
On the morning of Day 4, Root was asked by Ian Ward about his feeling behind his beautiful gesture. The 31-year-old said that he’d been in that kid’s position 20 years ago when he came to the ground to get autographs from the likes of former England greats.
“That was me 20 years ago. I used to come to Test matches and be hassling people like Nasser [Hussain] or Athers [Michael Atherton] for signatures yourself and it made my day,” Root told Sky Sports.
“So, any opportunity to try and put a smile on young kid’s face wanting to come back and enjoy another day of Test match, Test cricket keep enjoying what is, in my opinion, the greatest format of the game is really important and a small and easy job for any of the current players to do. Really nice to see that reaction [of the kid] and 10-year-old me would have been buzzing, so anyway I can try give that to someone else then I will,” Root added.
Root batting on another level from others
Since the start of 2021, Root has plundered 2368 runs and has notched up 10 centuries. In the same period, neither Smith nor Kohli has hit even a single century while Williamson has one three-figure score since last year.
Root caught up 😲 pic.twitter.com/68WzkTrMyE
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England bowled forced the issue on Day 4 taking 7 Kiwi wickets for 224 runs, lead of 238. This has set up for an exciting final day as both teams will want to win the contest to remain alive in the World Test Championship final race. England had won the first Test at Lord’s where Root’s century helped them chase 279. Here, however, they won’t have as much time and overs to do so.