Joe Root delighted to make century against Sri Lanka on return to England side at Lord's
Last Updated: 12/06/14 8:18pm
Centurion Joe Root was delighted to turn the page on England’s miserable Ashes winter on the opening day of the first Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.
Root finished 102 not out as the home side hit back strongly after a sticky start to reach 334-5 at the close having been inserted on a green-tinged track by Angelo Mathews.
Root was one of many Englishman who flopped over the winter and was dropped for the final Test of the 5-0 Ashes whitewash.
However, there was no sign of any concerns as he made his third Test ton, and second at HQ, with Matt Prior (76no) and Ian Bell (56) also in the runs.
"It was obviously a tough winter, not just on a personal front but as a team so it's obviously pleasing," he told Sky Sports.
"I enjoy playing here. You can't beat the first Test of the summer at Lord's and the atmosphere was fantastic.
Test is best
"Nothing beats Test cricket in my eyes and the challenge of trying to score runs in the first Test of the summer after the winter we had was one I relished.
Nothing beats Test cricket in my eyes and the challenge of trying to score runs in the first Test of the summer after the winter we had was one I relished.
"Hopefully me and Matty can kick on now and get towards 400 if not more."
Prior, who was also axed Down Under, ended the day close to his attacking best but not before surviving an agonisingly close lbw appeal at the start of his innings.
Runs here will cool the calls for Jos Buttler to be given the wicketkeeping position and Root was quick to throw his support behind England’s experienced gloveman.
"I love batting with Matty. He's a great bloke to have in the side and to play how he has is testament to his character and his quality as a player," he added.
"You can see by the celebration for his 50 how much it means to him."
Mathews' decision to insert England, which always represented something of a gamble, now looks to be well on the way to back-firing.
A bowling side would usually expect more than five wickets in a day after choosing to make first use of the conditions, but bowling coach Chaminda Vaas offered a measured assessment.
"We bowled pretty well on this wicket. I thought in the first few hours we bowled in some good areas and were able to take five wickets," he said.
"There was something in the wicket and the bowlers gave 100 per cent to get the five wickets.
"After lunch the wicket got flat and we had to learn how to bowl good areas.
"I didn't expect more because something happened in the wicket in the first few hours. We couldn't capitalise but I'm happy with the way our bowlers bowled on this track."