Geoffrey Boycott praises centurion Joe Root

Joe Root (R) scored his first century in Test cricket at Leeds on Day two against New Zealand © Getty Images

 Leeds: May 26, 2013
Geoffrey Boycott said Joe Root had “played beautifully” after the England batsman scored a maiden Test hundred, against New Zealand, at his Headingley home ground on Saturday.

Root’s 104, his first century in his sixth match at this level, also saw him become the first Yorkshireman to score his inaugural Test ton at the club’s Headingley headquarters in Leeds, northern England.

There was further local pride in the 22-year-old Root’s fifth-wicket partnership of 124 with Yorkshire colleague Jonny Bairstow (64) that helped England reach 337 for seven at the close of the second day after Friday’s total washout.

“Joe Root’s played beautifully, but ever since he was about 15, we at Yorkshire felt we had a good player here and that he had what it takes to be pretty special,” former Yorkshire and England opener Boycott told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.

“He has good touch, good footwork, plays the ball late, and it always helps to play at your home ground as you’re used to the pace,” added Boycott, who scored his 100th First-Class hundred at Headingley during a Test against Australia in 1977.

Meanwhile, a proud Root told reporters: “It was pretty special, very enjoyable and I am sure I will remember it for a long time.”

Root came in with England in trouble having lost two wickets for no runs to be 67 for three.

But Root, who has now scored 861 first-class runs in seven innings this season, showed few signs of tension as, together with the 23-year-old Bairstow, he got England back into the match.

“I just tried to read the game situation, play it accordingly and try not to think about anything else,” he said.
Root’s nearly four-hour innings, which included nine boundaries, did end, however, when, to the first delivery with the new ball, he was caught behind off left-arm quick Trent Boult.

It was the start of a spell that saw Boult take three wickets for three runs in 13 balls. Root angrily swished his bat in self-disgust at his dismissal.

“I was obviously disappointed; it was the first ball with the new ball and that exposed new batters, which is exactly what you don’t want,” he said.

“But I think the guys at the end batted really well to get another partnership together.”

Root’s century followed his second innings 71 in England’s 170-run first Test win at Lord’s.

“He looks like he’s got a good approach to batting, a pretty good gameplan and he scores pretty much all around the ground,” a sporting Boult said of Root.

“The wicket was pretty slow, so we couldn’t bounce him or look to push him back. Well done to him, it’s his first Test hundred and he did tremendously well.”