Joe Root Lauds England's Spirited Comeback
England vice-captain Joe Root expressed happiness over his team’s fightback against New Zealand after being under pressure on the first day of the Lord’s Test on Thursday.
Having been put into bat on a track with green tinge, England were reeling at 30 for four before Root and all-rounder Ben Stokes joined hands to raise a racy 161-run partnership.
England eventually ended the day on a commanding 354 for seven from 90 overs and Root seemed thrilled with the spunk shown by his side.
“It’s a fantastic effort from the lads,” said Root.
“If you said at 12 o’clock this was going to be the score at the end of the day, we would have snatched your hand off.”
Dwelling on his crucial partnership under pressure with Stokes, Root revealed that the strategy was to put pressure back on New Zealand.
Root stroked a fluent 161-ball 98 while Stokes bludgeoned his way to a 94-ball 92 as the duo scored freely without much fuss.
“We just want out there with the mentality of trying to counter attack, they went aggressive at us.
“We knew we were in trouble, we wanted to make sure we were busy and assertive.
“We wanted to take the initiative, make it hard for them to settle. If they miss a length we tried to put them back under pressure.”
Root stated that Stokes’ aggressive intent during the partnership released a lot of the huge pressure that was on the vice-captain’s shoulders.
Both batsmen were unfortunate to miss out on well deserved centuries but Jos Buttler (67) and Moeen Ali (49 not out) ensured that England built on the momentum before the wicket-keeper batsman departed off the day's final ball.
With a fair bit of depth in the batting, the 24-year-old hopes that England can battle on to get past the 400-run mark.
“It was quite strange before lunch I felt I was scoring quite freely," Root added.
“After lunch they set a defensive field, it was difficult to score in the same manner.
“I was lucky to have Ben at the other end who was playing so freely.
"If we can build another partnership, small targets, we can go from there.”
For New Zealand debutant Matt Henry was the standout bowler of the day with figures of 3-93 while Trent Boult too impressed with 2-70.
© Cricket World 2015