Joe Root on Sunday brought up his 17th Test century off 259 balls on day three of the second Test against New Zealand to signal a return back to form. The England skipper, who slammed his first Test hundred after nine months and 15 innings, last made a century against the West Indies in February.
Root’s century came at a crucial time for England, as the visitors were struggling to survive in the 2nd Test after rain disrupted the first day. Root had batted all of the third day after resuming at six on Sunday with England in deep trouble at 39/2 after New Zealand’s first innings of 375.
Root reached his half-century from 145 balls but fastened the pace on Sunday to reach his 17th Test. This comes after the 28-year old making 2 and 11 in the first Test at Mount Maunganui which New Zealand won by an innings and 65 runs.
💯 ROOOOOOOOOOOOTTTT!!! 💯
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 1, 2019
Rrrrrrroooooooooooooottttttttttt …. I think the saying goes ….. Form is temporary !!! #NZvENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 1, 2019
It has been a crucial innings for England skipper Root who struggled with the bat recently, leading to questions about whether the added pressure of captaincy was affecting his form. His average as captain had recently fallen below 40.
Root was helped by Rory Burns, who thrived on fielding errors, to post his second Test century before getting run out. Burns was dropped on 10 and 19 and on 87 survived a run-out opportunity when New Zealand botched the return throw.
He progressed confidently to 100 with a single to fine leg off Neil Wagner but then two balls later he was gone, paying the price for ambling through for the first single when Root called for two.