Joe Root steered England to victory with an unbeaten century against New Zealand at Lord’s (Picture: Getty)
Sir Alastair Cook hailed Joe Root as England’s most complete batsman of all-time after he joined an elite club on his way to steering his side to victory in the first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Root relinquished the captaincy of the Test team following the winter tour of West Indies, passing the baton onto Ben Stokes.
In his first appearance since returning to the rank and file, Root produced a matchwinning innings, registering his 26th Test century, his first in the fourth innings of a match, and went past the magical 10,000 run mark in the process.
Joe Root became the 14th man in history to score 10,000 Test runs (Picture: Sky Sports)
Cook, the only other English batsman to have matched that accomplishment, was watching on from the BBC commentary box and was delighted to have witnessed history being made.
‘I was so glad I was here to witness that,’ said Cook, a former teammate of Root. ‘An unbelievable knock by an unbelievable player, in my opinion the most complete England batsman in all forms.’
‘It is absolutely mad that it is exactly the same age,’ added Cook upon learning that he was the exact same age as Root to the day when he reached 10,000 Test runs. ‘I am happy to call it a draw!
‘It has all been low risk batting, it’s what makes him one of the greats, he is in control of everything he does. He has looked the part ever since his debut in India in 2012.’
From 216-5 overnight, 61 short of their target of 277, the home side were taken to victory by Root’s unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 120 with Ben Foakes.
Root struck the winning runs with a typically authoritative pull shot which saw him end on 115 not out and also guaranteed the crowd a full refund after helping England polish off the required runs inside 14 overs.
‘There was one individual English cricket fans wanted to stand to,’ added another former England skipper, Nasser Hussain.
‘That was their previous England captain and they love him and it’s such a joyous moment for him to get to that milestone and get England over the line.
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‘So much drama throughout the Test match, so many stories. It’s a change of era for English cricket and it was absolutely vital they started with a win.
‘I think he’s got a future in the game. He has always just looked a world-class player. His technique is pretty much what it was, he’s got great ryhtm and fluency to his game.
‘What is he now, 31? There’s a whole heap of runs left in him still.’
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