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England fortunes still rooted in former captain

June 05, 2022 20:00 IST
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IMAGE: England's Joe Root and Ben Stokes celebrate after the match.Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Joe Root's hunger to succeed with England burns as bright as ever after a masterful unbeaten 115 carried the side to a five-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first test at Lord’s on Sunday.

Root reluctantly resigned the captaincy this year and was replaced by Ben Stokes, but in scoring his 26th test century and becoming the 14th batsman to pass 10,000 runs, he quickly underlined his continuing importance to the side.

He shared an unbeaten partnership of 120 for the sixth wicket with Ben Foakes to lead the hosts to a tough victory target of 277.


"It feels fantastic, more than anything for us to have won this test match after such a long time. It has been a tough road, but the way everyone has gone about this week has been so enjoyable," Root said.

"I’m really looking forward to the rest of the summer and hopefully we can use this as a way to move forward as a group now."

England won only one of Root’s last 17 tests as captain, despite his own impressive form with the bat, and he hopes to help Stokes and new coach Brendan McCullum kick off a successful era for the test team.

"You look at the amount of times Ben won test matches under my leadership, it is a great opportunity for me to try and give back to him. It was nice to do it for him today," Root said.

"As long as I have the energy to keep doing it (play for England), I will do. I love batting and I love the group of players we have.

"I could not wish for a better person to be leading this team, so I will do everything I can to help him win games and see us be a successful test team again."

The second test gets underway at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday.

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