Joe Root silences his detractors with resolute century against New Zealand

Joe Root resolved to bat through the entire third day of the second Test against New Zealand as the England captain temporarily silenced his detractors with a resolute century at Hamilton.

Root’s position as leader of the side has been under a little scrutiny, in part because of an average of 27.4 in his 10 previous Tests this year, but the Yorkshireman was in defiant mood at Seddon Park.

His 114 not out, allied to Rory Burns’s 101, carried England to 269 for five – still trailing New Zealand by 106 before the players were brought off with 16.2 overs still left in the day because of rain.

Root may not have been at his most fluent, and only 39 of his runs came in front of square, but he judged his innings on a slow surface expertly, reaching three figures for only the second time this year.

England v Australia – Fifth Test – Day Four – 2019 Ashes Series – The Kia Oval
England v Australia – Fifth Test – Day Four – 2019 Ashes Series – The Kia Oval

There were a number of flicks into the leg-side as he contented himself with playing on the back foot, while the 259 balls it took him to reach his hundred was his slowest in England whites.

But he offered New Zealand’s willing attack no chances while his 177-run stand alongside Burns was only ended after the opener was run out, inches short of his ground, after coming back for a second run.

Burns had a couple of minor challenges in his innings but overcame them superbly as he recorded just his second Test hundred and first overseas, before his dismissal saw England slip from 201 for two to 262 for five.

Root was still there at the close and will resume on day four, alongside Ollie Pope, on four not out, looking to push England towards a first-innings lead which could determine the outcome of the contest and series.