It is rare these days to see English Test batsmen kick-on and get a three-figure score after getting off to a start. Opener Rory Burns and skipper Joe Root did exactly that on the third day of the second Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton. The duo racked up a 177-run-stand to consolidate England’s first innings and in the process notched up their respective three-figure scores.
While Burns got to his second Test ton, skipper Joe Root shrugged off a rare extended lean phase by scoring an unbeaten century. This was Root’s 17th Test match century and his first for England in 15 innings- dating back to February of this year.
The English captain has come under severe pressure- both for his diminishing returns with the bat as well his on-field tactics as a leader; something that blew the roof down following England’s heart wrenching innings defeat at the Bay Oval where the lack of penetration in their bowling attack and the inability of their batsmen to rack up daddy-hundreds was exposed to the hilt.
Rory Burns, who scored his second ton of the calendar year, came in defence of the under-fire Root, following their 177-run-stand on the third day. ‘It’s really nice to see the skipper get his runs. He’s obviously a very good player and a lot of stuff has been said in recent times. Not scoring runs as a batsman might bring other things into the equation, which aren’t necessarily true. When he bats like that, everyone’s behind him and knows exactly what he can do. It’s awesome to see him get them.’ Burns said as quoted by Daily Mail.
Billy Root too came out in defence of his brother, Joe Root
Incidentally, Stuart Broad has singled out Joe Root and Rory Burns as the crucial wickets for England when he urged his batsmen to ‘bat once and bat big’ and the left-hander ably responded with a gritty Test match century before getting run-out for 10.
‘I’m not sure he said that I was the key wicket,’ said Burns of Broad. ‘He just said that he fancied me, slightly. I’m glad that I made his words come true. I just tried to apply myself for as long as I could. It came to a slightly disappointing end but I thought I played quite well. The run-out was my call, and that’s where my Surrey strength and conditioning coach will be slightly disappointed because he prides himself on my twos. I’ve probably let him down there,” said Burns.
Burns’s defence of Root has come in the wake of a string of passionate tweets from Joe’s brother, Billy Root. Billy took to Twitter where he wrote ‘I personally don’t know what it feels like to captain my country, score 33 TONS whilst amassing 13800+ at the top level. I’m struggling to think of many that do, so can we please get rid of the negativity and applaud the brilliance that’s in front of us?’
I personally don’t know what it feels like to captain my country, score 33 TONS whilst amassing 13800+ at the top level 🤷🏼♂️ I’m struggling to think of many that do, so can we please get rid of the negativity and applaud the brilliance that’s in front of us? pic.twitter.com/Oq0Aa8M1Om
— Billy Root (@BillRoot66) December 1, 2019
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