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Joe Root targets a big hundred in search of a lead

Joe Root targets a big hundred in search of a lead
Joe Root scored an unbeaten 106 off 131 deliveries on day two of the third Test in Johannesburg.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England batsman Joe Root is looking to covert his hundred into a big score in order to build a lead against South Africa in the third Test match in Johannesburg.

On the second day of the third Test Root scored a 131-ball unbeaten knock of 106 runs as England posted 238 for five in reply to South Africa's total of 313. 

“I’m really pleased so far.

“Tomorrow about making a big one, building partnership and getting some form of a lead.

“(It is) possibly (the best knock of my career) but there is a lot of hard work for us to get a result in the game.” 

During his innings Root received some treatment on his calf but the 25-year-old clarified that it was just a cramp and the pain subsided after he reached the three-figure mark.

“You lot must think I’m a drama queen.

“The pain was no doubt soothed by the adrenaline rush of batting with Ben Stokes as well as the satisfaction of converting a fifty to a century.” 

Root shared a crucial 111-run stand with Ben Stokes for the fifth wicket and during the partnership the duo scored at a rate of seven runs per over. 

Stokes scored 58 runs from just 54 balls hitting nine boundaries and a six in his knock which ensured that England recovered from a position of 91 for four.

Heaping praise on Stokes for his knock, Root stated that the aggressive approach of the all-rounder creates scoring opportunities as the opposition tend to shift to placing defensive fields.

“Ben takes the pressure off you at the other end when he plays that way and that aggressively.

“The slips come out, there are men on the boundary and you can run well between the wickets because of those gaps available.

“He releases a lot of pressure off you.

“Ben is not very talkative in the middle which is completely different to off the field.

“He is a great craic in the dressing room but when he is out there batting it is all about concentrating as much as possible.

“We saw that last week and hopefully that great form can continue because he is becoming a really strong player in Test cricket.” 

With Root and Jonny Bairstow currently batting at the crease, England will look to erase the deficit in the first session of the third day and aim to build a lead in order to press for a series clinching victory in the third Test.  

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