Root has faith in 'strong character' Jennings

Joe Root has praised Keaton Jennings' maturity and backed the under-pressure batsman to deliver in the fourth Test against South Africa.

England are seeking to secure a 3-1 series victory in the final contest at Old Trafford, which starts on Friday.

After making a century on debut against India in Mumbai last year, followed by a fifty in Chennai, Jennings has struggled against the Proteas, making just 44 runs across the first five innings of the series.

A scrappy 48 in his second knock at The Oval appears to have earned the 25-year-old a reprieve, though, and he is seemingly set to retain his place in the team in Manchester. 

"He's a very level-headed guy, he's got a very strong character and throughout he's been very much the same in the way he's approached his training, and in each game as well," skipper Root told a news conference.

"It's great to see someone so light of experience be very mature and go about it in the right way.

"The way he played in that second innings was extremely great to see, I'm pleased that he's been able to get a score and hopefully that'll lead to some more runs this week."

Addressing Jennings' demanding transition to the longest form of the sport at international level, Root said: "It's tough, and that's why it's called Test cricket, it can be a very hard thing to break into.

"You come from county cricket where there's not a huge amount of exposure to the media and external scrutiny - and you have to get your head around it pretty quickly. It is a test of character, it's a test of skill."

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