Cap­tains in pink as new boys fail

Root and Cook make Eng­land tick...again!

The Cricket Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Stocks at Edg­bas­ton

ENG­LAND cap­tain Joe Root pro­duced a record­break­ing in­nings to help put Eng­land in con­trol on the open­ing day of this first day-night Test against West Indies.

Root’s sub­lime cen­tury, the 13th of his Test ca­reer, was the 11th con­sec­u­tive Test match in which he has scored a least 50, sur­pass­ing John Edrich’s Eng­land record of 10 con­sec­u­tive matches es­tab­lished be­tween 1969-71.

The York­shire­man is now just one be­hind South African AB de Vil­liers’ world record of 12. But when he’s in this kind of form who would back against him equalling that on his home ground of Head­in­g­ley next week?

Root’s third-wicket part­ner­ship with Alas­tair Cook stood at 176 by tea with his pre­de­ces­sor as cap­tain on 85 af­ter fail­ures from debu­tant Mark Stone­man and No.3 Tom West­ley re­duced the hosts to 39-2.

By tea, Eng­land were in a strong po­si­tion on 215-2 ahead of the fi­nal ses­sion un­der lights.

It was Root’s in­nings, though, that stole the show in the first two ses­sions. The 26-year-old’s run of 50-plus scores stretches back to Eng­land’s se­cond Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka in Oc­to­ber of last year, when he scored 56 in his side’s first in­nings dur­ing a chas­ten­ing 108-run de­feat.

Root then posted scores of 124, 53, 78, 77 and 88 in In­dia, a se­ries Eng­land lost 4-0, be­fore fur­ther in­nings of 190, 78, 50 and 53 in the re­cent four-match se­ries against South Africa saw him equal Edrich’s Eng­land record.

In break­ing that mark, which has stood for 46 years, Root be­came only the sixth bats­man to achieve the feat of fifties in 11 con­sec­u­tive matches along­side West Indies great Sir Vi­vian Richards, In­dia’s Gau­tam Gamb­hir and Viren­der Se­hwag, Bangladesh’s Mominul Haque, all on 11, and then De Vil­liers.

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Michael Vaughan said: “It’s felt like the se­nior pair of Cook and Root have had a mid­dle prac­tice. They’ve been un­der no pres­sure.”

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Well done pal: Cen­tu­rion Joe Root cel­e­brates his 50 with Alas­tair Cook

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