England captain Joe Root continued his dream run with a brisk 23rd Test hundred against India at Headingley, boosting his side’s first-innings lead on Thursday in the third Test of the five-match series.
Root, who scored his third successive hundred of the ongoing series, put his side in the driver’s seat after they bundled out India for a partly 78 on the opening day. His perfectly-timed straight drive against Mohammed Siraj to move into the 90s was a glimpse of the English skipper’s skill-set and current form.
En route his brisk ton comprising 12 boundaries, Root broke the record of most runs scored by an England captain in a calendar year. Previously, Alastair Cook, who scored 1364 runs in 2015 and 1270 in 2016, led the list.
His sequence of scores now reads 64, 109, 180*, 33, 100* in his last three Tests. Root also equalled Kevin Pietersen in the list of most Test centuries for England. Pietersen and Root are levelled at 23 tons, with Cook at the top with 33 three-figure scores against the red cherry.
Root may be ten hundreds away from Cook, but he’s already matched the Ex-skipper’s record of most scoring most centuries as England’s captain. Cook and Root both have 12 tons each to their name.
The 30-year-old Root now heads the list comprising players who have scored the most number of Test tons against the Indian opposition. Root (8) is first, followed by Cook (7) and Pietersen (6) on the next two spots.
Openers Rory Burns (61) and Haseeb Hameed (68) were the batsmen dismissed in the morning session. Root, however, teamed up with Dawid Malan (70) to pile misery on India. Malan, making his Test return after three years, stitched a 139-run stand off 189 balls with Root before the southpaw nicked it to Rishabh Pant at the stroke of tea.
Indian bowlers perhaps looked toothless against Root, who continued scoring at a steady pace and negating the threat posed by seamers. Ravindra Jadeja, the lone tweaker in India’s armoury, toiled hard to complement the pace quarter, but hardly posed any threat to the English skipper.
Following Malan’s departure, Root teamed up with Jonny Bairstow to frustrate the Indian bowling unit. Root and Bairstow notched up a 50-run stand to stretch England’s lead to 272.