Joe Root who has been jostling with the poor form of late has rediscovered his rhythm by scoring a huge double century against New Zealand at Seddon Park. Root helped his team take a 101-run lead in the must-win second Test match of the ongoing two-match series. The skipper came under fire recently for his string of flop shows and when his team needed someone to step up and do the job, he delivered the much-needed amends when it mattered the most.
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Interestingly, his scintillating 226 makes him the first visiting captain to score a double century in New Zealand. He is also only the fourth England captain to score a 200-plus score in overseas Tests. After this remarkable knock, the fabulous batsman has now joined an elite list of England skippers.
It is worth mentioning here that Len Hutton became the first England captain to score a double hundred in away Tests when he smashed 205 in 1954 in Kingston. Ted Dexter did the same thing by scoring 205 in 1962 in Karachi. Then in 2015, the former England skipper Alastair Cook stole the spotlight as he scored a magnificent 263 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
Joe Root helps England take a 101-run lead
Talking about the innings, England lost momentum early on in the innings as they were reduced to 24/2 in response to New Zealand’s first innings total of 375. Joe Root ensured not to give away his wicket that easily as they were already facing a must-win scenario after surrendering at the hands of the hosts in the 1st Test in Mount Maunganui by an innings and 65 runs.
Root combined with opener Rory Burns and added a vital 177 runs for the 3rd wicket. After Burns got out for 101, Root went about his business and completed his double hundred on Monday in Hamilton. He had also constructed an important partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Olie Pope and helped England post a colossal 476 with a 101-run lead.
In an impressive counter-attack, England mounted pressure on New Zealand by dismissing openers Jeet Raval (0) and Tom Latham (18) early on in the game. However, skipper Kane Williamson (37*) and senior batsman Ross Taylor (31*) started to find solace at the crease as New Zealand went to Stumps at 96/2, trailing England by just 5 runs.