He is enjoying stellar form with a sound batting technique in Test cricket but Joe Root doesn’t shy away from bringing out an occasional reverse hit. The Englishman hit an audacious shot to third man against Neil Wagner during the ongoing third Test at Headingley on Sunday. (Also Read | ‘Remember the last time Virat scored 100? Even I don’t’: Sehwag makes huge prediction, says Kohli’s ‘bad days’ are over)
Root cleared the third man boundary with ease, thanks to his timing and Wagner bowling it outside the off-stump. Notably, the brave hit came at a tense phase during England’s 296-run chase for the win. The two men briefly exchanged smiles afterwards. England currently are favourites to wrap up a 3-0 series win over the Test world champions.
England finished 183-2 at stumps on the fourth day, with 113 runs still needed to reach the target and take the series 3-0. Root came in with England 51-2 following the needless run out of Alex Lees and the exit of Zak Crawley, who lobbed an easy catch to the Kane Williamson in the cover region.
Root arrived at 51-2 at the start of the 13th over in an eventful start from the English side. Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Root (55 not out) shared an undefeated 132-run partnership for the third wicket. England hurtled along at 4.69 an over as the pair kept the scoreboard moving with regular boundaries. They had chased down 299 with around 22 overs to spare in the second Test.
Earlier, New Zealand were dismissed for 326 with Jack Leach taking 10 wickets overall. The England tweaker claimed 5-66, including the final wicket of Trent Boult (4), to go with his 5-100 in the first innings.
“I want to be contributing to wins and I’m really enjoying working with Stokesy,” Leach said. “It’s really attacking and I’m enjoying that, and kind of trying to bowl attacking as well.”
“Obviously we have to come back tomorrow and do the good things again. But it’s just a positive mentality, and you realize how much decisions in cricket are kind of based maybe around negativity. It’s something I’ve never experienced and am just loving being a part of.”
England bidding to win every match of a home series with at least three Tests for the first time since their 4-0 rout of India back in 2011.
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