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India vs England: Sir Alastair Cook hails 'masterclass' from Joe Root after his unbeaten 106 in fourth Test

Joe Root's ton is his 31st in Tests and a record 10th against India; he is unbeaten on 106 as England close day one of fourth Test in Ranchi on 302-7; follow text commentary of day two from 3.45am, Saturday, on and the Sky Sports App (4am first ball)

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Former England skipper Nasser Hussain heaps praise on Joe Root after his record-breaking century on day one of the fourth Test against India.

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook praised Joe Root's "masterclass" century as he led the tourists' recovery from an early collapse on day one of the fourth Test against India in Ranchi. 

Root struck a sublime and controlled 106 not out off 226 balls as he pulled England to a comfortable 302-7 at stumps, and in doing so broke the record for the most individual Test centuries against India.

His performance came after he was criticised for his first-innings dismissal in the third Test, when he reverse-scooped Jasprit Bumrah and triggered a collapse.

Cook captained the last England team to win in India back in 2012 where spin twins Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar starred in the momentous 2-1 series triumph.

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Michael Atherton discusses the much-talked about Ranchi pitch and the keys to victory for England in their fourth Test with India.

"We were witnessing a kind of a masterclass hundred from Joe Root," Cook said on TNT Sports.

"Sport defines and reveals character at the same time, it's a very strange thing. We've just seen a champion cricketer fight some demons and play unbelievably special.

"I know how much it means to him and how much it affects him when he's not contributing. The stuff which is being spoken about him and some of the shots he's played would really hurt him.

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"He has scored so many runs, he is England's best ever player and it hurts when you don't contribute, when you think you should be doing."

England's Joe Root (Associated Press)
Image: England's Joe Root celebrates his 31st Test century against India in Ranchi

England suffered a scare when they lost five wickets in the morning session with Ollie Pope (0) and captain Ben Stokes (3) out in single figures.

However, Root put on a brilliant a 113-run sixth-wicket partnership with Ben Foakes (47) to take the visitors from 112-5 to 198-5 at tea with a wicketless afternoon session.

"Root's got a brilliant record in the subcontinent, he's got a brilliant record against India and in those three Tests matches he was just struggling for something, whatever that might be," added Cook.

"Whether it was tempo of innings, whether it was technique, whether it was mental - it was probably all those three things rolled into one.

"He's got his chance here and probably just gone to absolute basics today. That class will always show through."

Hussain: Root was an 'absolute pleasure' to watch

Sky Sports' Nasser Hussain echoed Cook's praise, telling Sky Sports: "You don't keep a great player down for long and Joe Root is definitely a great player - arguably one of England's greatest, if not their greatest ever batter. The stats will tell you that by the end of his career.

England's Joe Root controversially reverse-scooped India's Jasprit Bumrah during the third Test in Rajkot
Image: England's Joe Root controversially reverse-scooped India's Jasprit Bumrah during the third Test in Rajkot

"The Root we've seen over the last decade or so has had that sort of boyish smile on his face. I saw a slightly different Joe today and a steely toughness in his eye.

"Whether that was because he was stung by the criticism he's received for some for the shots he's played, or whether it's actually Root himself wanting to contribute more after a bit of a lean patch.

"And he is his biggest critic. He is constantly trying to self-improve and look at his own game. He was absolutely outstanding today, on a difficult pitch he got his tempo perfect.

"Root plays in different ways and always has done in his career - he's a multi-format cricketer and even in Test match cricket, he plays in different ways.

"He averages 51 in Bazball and he averages 50 out of Bazball. He's just a world-class player that has been going through a slightly lean period.

"He would have looked at that shot he played, the reverse scoop, and he would have looked at the situation today at lunch at 112-5 and the pitch and realised that this wasn't the time to do that, to go to that shot, on a pitch that's keeping low.

"Also, after what happened last time, he would have thought to himself 'Joe, I am better than this. I can play better than this and I want to show people that Joe Root of old' and that's exactly what he's done today.

"In a month's time or next summer, he'll go back to playing all the funky shots because that's what he has. He has every single shot in the book and sometimes it is difficult when you're that talented to keep certain shots away.

"His critics would argue that he put the reverse scoop away. He put the sweeps away. Joe is one of the best sweepers of a cricket ball I've ever seen. He played one reverse sweep and two sweeps today, because of the pitch.

"His critics would argue 'this is what how we want him to play. We want him to play like this every time'. Joe Root will just argue, 'I've got nearly 12,000 Test match runs, 31 hundreds, I know what I'm doing'."

Follow text commentary of day two of the fourth Test between India and England live on and the Sky Sports App from 3.45am on Saturday (4am first ball).

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