England captain Joe Root scored his 21st Test century on Saturday (August 7) against India. His knock has given his side an outside chance of winning the Test. He felt that he got his rhythm back in his batting. Root scored 109 off 172 deliveries before he edged one off Jasprit Bumrah to the wicketkeeper.
“In the context of the game, it felt very good to go and make a big score and a big contribution, to get us into a position where now we have a chance of winning this Test match,” Root told reporters at the end of the day’s play.
“I felt pretty good throughout this whole game, felt I got my rhythm back. I worked very hard at that for a period of time now. To get ourselves to a position where we could get a really good score on the board was really pleasing,” he added.
Root feels the white-ball series against Sri Lanka helped, although he would have loved to play some red-ball cricket ahead of the Test series.
“I actually feel real benefits of playing some white-ball cricket. It would have been nice to have some red-ball cricket coming into this game but in my point of view, playing 50-over cricket gave me a rhythm back into my batting," Root, England's highest run-getter in international cricket, said.
“Felt like I got forward a lot better. I was actually standing a lot taller a lot earlier, picking my bat up a lot earlier. It feels like I got rhythm back with my hands."
"I find 50-over cricket can really help my red-ball game. I feel like I haven’t played for a long period of time, apart from the three games we had against Sri Lanka. Now it feels good again, it’s about trying to keep that going and keep looking to make any sort of starts into big scores,” he added.
Root brought up the three figures with a straight drive off Shardul Thakur and followed that up with passionate celebrations. He said that those celebrations were an expression of relief after a really tense 5-10 minutes leading up to the landmark.
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere within the ground. I felt like I played really nicely. The 5-10 minutes leading into actually getting a hundred was a bit hairy as well so it was quite a lot of relief in that respect. A couple of lbw shouts and I kept smacking them to the fielders; it felt I was trying to get out but I promise you I wasn’t," the England captain said.
"It was an opportunity to say thank you to everyone in the ground and to my wife and all the teammates with me,” he added.
Looking ahead to the final day, Root still feels that there is enough on the surface for his side to win the game, but will have to take every opportunity that comes their way. “You always want more [runs], but now I feel there are chances [of winning] on that surface. There are going to be opportunities; we just have to catch very well when those chances come but it certainly felt like there’s still plenty on that wicket. You get a couple of early ones tomorrow, it’s a funny old game, 150-160 seems to grow, it seems to get a lot bigger,” he said.
Going into the final day of the Test at Trent Bridge, India still need 157 runs to win with nine wickets in hand.