England in New Zealand: ‘Joe Root and the team needed this century’
Joe Root knew the significance of reaching three figures for the England team – not just against New Zealand, but also because of the conversation regarding his place as captain and him personally.
He looked the same as a batsman who walked on the third evening of the second Test at Hamilton chose to score a hundred. If he is not centuries and folks begin to point the 20, It’s tough for a batting .
Before this game started, I found a shift.
I discovered a dramatic gap in his demeanour, when I interviewed him. He was chirpy, he engaged, he was grinning, he cracked jokes. He had been more like the Root which we understand.
Earlier that first Test, I believed that he was very quiet, very reserved – troubled, possibly.
I remember finishing the interview and thinking’that is similar to Root’. I think perhaps he thought about things, has had a sit down and come out and started his entire.
He appears to have gone back he had been batting. In the first Test, you might see quite a movement ahead of the ball has been bowled, setting himself up on off stump, which really did not seem and cramped him a little bit.
The way he got out enjoying with two shots to be captured in the slips, reflected that.
But this, Root has now gone right back to his location. He did not put a foot wrong as England closed trailing by 106 in making an unbeaten 114 and performed completely beautifully.
It wasn’t an innings that is exciting – it was his best selling hundred in Test cricket, off 259 balls – but I don’t believe he played a shot that is false. He has played quite straight – total no-risk cricket.
It’s a pitch that is very horizontal and that he simply batted like a person determined to score a hundred. He desired it, and England wanted him to evaluate it.
The fact that Root has performed a innings can get him the power of good. It restore some of his confidence and will put him up well.
When the captain is under pressure such as form, it is very simple for the opposition to start putting the pressure on and the team begin to suffer. A batsman in form is a captain.
There is lots of criticism of Root because of his captaincy. The simple fact ishe has had to learn at work. This is the issue with cricket – no expertise is got by the captain.
Those England captains of the past had the expertise of leading their counties, although Folks seem to expect captains be the next Mike Brearley and to come in.
Root is a cricketer. Cricket is part of him. Now he has got some runs, so that will make things easier.
On the third day, England – led Rory Burns, who left 101 and by Imperial – got the tempo right.
It is possible to play with cricket that is low-risk, individual but still push the balls into the openings, and they had been active enough to maintain that hands free mix.
As beautifully as Burns played, England are still up against it and they need more of the same on day four if they are to have any chance of winning the match and drawing the series.
Jonathan Agnew was speaking to Sport’s Amy Lofthouse.