Pleasing to make a start count: Joe Root      
Joe Root celebrates after scoring his 16th Test century. (AFP Image)

Joe Root was relieved that his batting clicked and he was able to put a lean patch behind him with a strokeful century against the West Indies on Day 3 of the St. Lucia Test. Root, who was averaging a lowly 11 after the first two Tests of the Wisden Trophy, struck a masterful 16th century in Tests to drive England to 325 for 4 at stumps, swelling their lead to a massive 448 runs.

“It felt a long way off at the start of this game, after some of the deliveries I got in the last Test,” Root told Sky Sports. “It’s really pleasing to make a start count – I’m glad to have got in and made it count when I got the chance. (READ: Root ton gives England massive lead over West Indies)

“Today something really clicked in – I’ve been working hard with Ramps [batting coach Mark Ramprakash] and some of the other coaches. It’s nice to see it work and hopefully that’ll be a good foundation for a long time to come. It wasn’t pretty at times, it was that sort of wicket and obviously a slow outfield but once I got into the rhythm of the game, it started to feel a little bit easier.

Root remains unbeaten on 111 off 209 deliveries with nine boundaries and along the way forged useful associations to ensure smooth sailing for the visitors. Root added 74 runs for the third wicket with Joe Denly (6), a stand worth 104 for the fourth wicket with Jos Buttler (57), followed by an unbeaten 71-run partnership with Ben Stokes so far.

“I’ve been working on a few things in practice, trying to line myself up a bit better. The body hasn’t quite been doing what I want it to at times, which is frustrating, but that can happen over your career,” Root said. “You’ve just got to tinker with things and evolve your game, just as bowlers evolve their plans to you. I’ve been through a little bit of that over the last six to eight months and somehow managed to find ways of scoring runs.”

While a lead of almost 450 runs may seem plenty, the decision to declare is one that will be pondered over the night. “It’ll be coming at some point,” added Root. “We can have a little think about it, how that roller will affect the wicket and make a judgement call on it early on.

“If it starts to really misbehave more frequently with the older ball – like it did when they took the new ball – that might give us a bit of a nudge to pull out. It’s about holding your nerve and putting them under pressure.”