England captain Joe Root pleased to make double century in second Test against New Zealand

Joe Root
Joe Root

England captain Joe Root revealed his recent lean patch had left him irritated rather than worried after returning to form with a titanic 226 in the second Test against New Zealand.

There were question marks over whether leading the side was hindering Root's batting as his average stood at 27.4 in his 10 previous Tests this year, but his double hundred on day four at Hamilton was his first on foreign soil.

It was also his highest score since assuming the captaincy nearly three years ago while he becomes the first visiting skipper to reach 200 in New Zealand, which has set up a slim prospect of a series-levelling victory.

Root said: "I've always felt like it was close. It's been more of a frustration that it's not really happened rather than a worry. It's obviously very pleasing but ultimately it would be nice for it to really mean something.

"I've felt like my game has been pretty much there, you just sometimes need a bit behind you and a few extra runs.

"It's the business we're in, unfortunately, sometimes you can be playing as well as you want but you need the scores; it's what wins you games."

The docile nature of the Seddon Park surface led to Root battling hard and the 441 balls he faced and 636 minutes he spent at the crease meant it was the longest innings of his career.

Root added: "I found a really good rhythm out there and felt pretty comfortable and just wanted to keep going.

"It's been a while since I've had that amount of time out in the middle and you get really hungry for it sometimes. I felt like I got a groove going and wanted to keep it going as long as I could.

"I've been picking my hands up nicely this week and felt more like my normal self when I'm playing well. I felt busy at the crease and had a real good intent to score.

"It wasn't quite as free-flowing as it has been in the past but I don't think that was due to lack of mindset or anything like that, it was more the conditions, the nature of the pitch and the slower outfield."

Root moved into England's all-time top 10 Test run-scorers, leapfrogging Wally Hammond, shortly before getting to his third double ton in Tests.

He had Ollie Pope for company for almost all of his time at the crease on the penultimate day. The pair put on a 193-run stand in 62.3 overs, with the Surrey youngster contributing a Test-best 75.

Pope boasted a remarkable first-class average of 57.52 in 34 matches before this Test while his strike-rate of 63.61 indicates a fluent batsman, but Root was impressed by his junior partner's assessment of the situation here.

Root said: "He played extremely well. You look at the way Ollie plays and has played for Surrey in county cricket; he's very free-flowing, someone that scores quite quickly and likes to put pressure on bowlers.

"I thought at times he realised it was a slow pitch and not as free-scoring as you might find around the world and what you might get in county cricket, but he showed a lot maturity in the way he went about it.

"I thought he read the situation really well, showed great maturity and I'm really pleased for him to get a good contribution in this innings."

The union was a major factor in turning a 106-run deficit at the start of the day into a first-innings lead of 101, although the Black Caps went to stumps on 96 for two, almost wiping out the arrears.

The nature of the surface plus the forecast for rain for much of day five meant a draw was the likeliest outcome, which would hand New Zealand a 1-0 series win following last week's defeat of England at Mount Maunganui.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Kilbricken Storm returns to the scene of his finest hour1

Value Bet: A Storm brewing

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections for day one of Cheltenham's December meeting on Friday and he has three tips.

Arsenal celebrate a goal at Standard Liege2

Europa League: Arsenal fight back

A review of Thursday's action in the Europa League as Arsenal came from behind to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege while Man United won 4-0.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Sun to shine for Oakley

David Ord highlighted a 4/1 winner on Thursday and Matt Brocklebank bids to follow up with a selection in the valuable handicap hurdle at Cheltenham.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview4

Friday's racing preview

Cogry looks to have a fine chance of repeating last year's victory at Cheltenham, according to Keith Hamer - he has a tip for every race on Friday.

Kilbricken Storm is backed to score5

Oli Bell: Friday's Best Bets

Oli Bell fancies former Festival hero Kilbricken Storm to come roaring back to form on his seasonal return at Cheltenham on Friday.

Most Read

Kilbricken Storm returns to the scene of his finest hour1

Value Bet: A Storm brewing

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections for day one of Cheltenham's December meeting on Friday and he has three tips.

Arsenal celebrate a goal at Standard Liege2

Europa League: Arsenal fight back

A review of Thursday's action in the Europa League as Arsenal came from behind to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege while Man United won 4-0.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Sun to shine for Oakley

David Ord highlighted a 4/1 winner on Thursday and Matt Brocklebank bids to follow up with a selection in the valuable handicap hurdle at Cheltenham.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview4

Friday's racing preview

Cogry looks to have a fine chance of repeating last year's victory at Cheltenham, according to Keith Hamer - he has a tip for every race on Friday.

Kilbricken Storm is backed to score5

Oli Bell: Friday's Best Bets

Oli Bell fancies former Festival hero Kilbricken Storm to come roaring back to form on his seasonal return at Cheltenham on Friday.

Racing Tips

Kilbricken Storm returns to the scene of his finest hour

Value Bet: A Storm brewing

Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections for day one of Cheltenham's December meeting on Friday and he has three tips.

Kilbricken Storm is backed to score

Oli Bell: Friday's Best Bets

Oli Bell fancies former Festival hero Kilbricken Storm to come roaring back to form on his seasonal return at Cheltenham on Friday.

Rock The Kasbah in action

Simon Holt: Rock on

Simon Holt has been in sizzling form with his big-race tips and has two more selections for Friday's action at Cheltenham.

Next Race Off

03:17 Charles Town
7
(7)
Cayenne Creek
J: Christian Hiraldo
2
(2)
Bacoli
J: Arnaldo Bocachica

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package and free tips

Saturday's Premier League tips

Betting previews, Super 6 predictions & best bets for Saturday's action, including Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester.

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League fixtures

Europa League betting preview

It's the final set of group games and Paul Higham expects goals at Man Utd and Wolves, and even fancies backing Arsenal away.

Our best bets for the latest Sky Bet EFL action

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend preview

After getting a full house of winning tips in the Sky Bet EFL last weekend, Tom Carnduff is back with four best bets for the latest action.