Cricket

IND Vs ENG, 4th Test: Joe Root Slams 31st Century, His Record-Breaking 10th Against India

Joe Root scored his first Test century of the series on the opening day of the fourth Test match against India at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi

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Joe Root celebrates his century on the first day of the fourth Test match between England and India in Ranchi. AP Photo/Ajit Solanki
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England's veteran batter Joe Root scored his 31st Test century in the final session of the first day of the fourth Test in Ranchi. This is Root's 10th Test ton against India, a record by any batter. Australia's Steven Smith has hit nine Test hundreds in 37 innings. Root overtook him in his 52nd inning. (Scorecard | IND Vs ENG Blog | Cricket News)

The century in JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi came at the right time when the England team needed it the most. Debutant Akash Deep destroyed England's opening batting order. Then came the veteran, who played many dot balls initially to understand the nature of the pitch and formed a partnership with Jonny Bairstow to stabilise the innings.

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After Bairstow's dismissal, he added 113 runs with Ben Foakes (47 off 126 balls) for the sixth wicket. This is Root's third slowest Test century. He took 219 balls to complete his 31st Test ton which is faster than his Hamilton Test century versus New Zealand in 2019 (259 balls) and Lord's century in 2013 against Australia where he took 247 balls to achieve three figures.

The 33-year-old was struggling for runs throughout the series and he was also disappointed with the ways he was dismissed in the series. This Test century also silenced some mouths who were questioning his presence in the England squad. Root was unbeaten on 106 at the Stumps on Day 1. Ollie Robinson is also unbeaten on 31 off 60 balls.

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Root's century on Day 1 of the fourth Test is his 13th century across all formats against India. Only Australia's Steven Smith and Ricky Ponting have more tons against India (14 each). With this hundred, Root has now surpassed Australia's Matthew Hayden and West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the overall Test tons ranking. Both veteran southpaws have 30 Test tons each under their belt.

His contemporaries, Kane Williamson and Steven Smith are above him in Test ton numbers. Smith and Williamson have 32 Test centuries. England's Alastair Cook has 33 Test hundreds and Root must be eyeing to surpass him soon as well.

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