Root makes his mark at Headingley with brilliant century

JOE ROOT became the first Yorkshireman to score a century in a one-day international at Headingley as England ended the one-day series with a consolation win.

Yorkshires Joe Root beams with delight as he celebrates reaching his century against India with England team-mate Ben Stokes (Picture: Dave Thompson/PA).

Root scored 113 as England beat India by 41 runs, the tourists taking the five-match series 3-1.

His innings, which completed a notable double after he scored 104 on his first Test appearance at the ground against New Zealand last year, helped England to 294-7 after they were sent into bat in glorious sunshine.

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India posted 253 in reply, Ravindra Jadeja top-scoring with 87.

Root, who had managed only 50 runs in three innings prior to yesterday, was in purple form beneath perfect blue skies.

This was his second one-day international hundred in his 36th game – his first had come against the West Indies at Antigua earlier this year – and he reached it in a most un-Yorkshire-like manner, with a slog-swept six towards the East Stand off Jadeja, the left-arm spinner.

One doubts whether many, if any, Yorkshire players have previously brought up an international hundred in such a fashion, but Root is not your average Yorkshire batsman of time-honoured vintage.

The 23-year-old is more new-age than age-old, a player who can adapt to all three formats.

“It was great to do well in front of my home crowd,” said Root, who became the fourth Englishman after Marcus Trescothick (twice), Andrew Strauss and Robin Smith to score a one-day international century at Leeds.

“The crowd were exceptional all day, and it was nice to get a win.

“It was quite tough to start with, but once I got the pace of the wicket it got a bit easier.

“I just tried to play on instinct, and it seemed to pay off.”

After England recalled Ben Stokes and James Tredwell after also omitting Harry Gurney, the Nottinghamshire left-armer, Root arrived at the crease in the seventh over with the score 39-2.

He attempted nothing extravagant at first as England sought to recover from the early losses of Alex Hales, who skied to mid-wicket, and Moeen Ali, who slapped to third-man.

After England inexplicably left out another Yorkshire player in Gary Ballance, around whom they must surely be basing their future, along with Root, the latter played himself in before carrying the fight to the Indian bowlers.

The young man rocked on to the back foot to pull Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the right-arm pace bowler, for his first boundary, and followed up with a similar shot off Mohammed Shami.

India, who left out Dhawal Kulkarni in favour of fellow pace man Umesh Yadav, struggled to contain Root and Alastair Cook, who batted positively.

Cook played some lovely offside drives – he hit two to the boundary in the first over of the innings – although was twice lucky with edges through a vacant second slip region.

England’s captain had advanced to within four runs of a half-century when he was third out at 91, top-edging an attempted sweep off Suresh Raina, the left-arm spinner, to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, having added 52 with Root in 13 overs.

Eoin Morgan began well by reverse-sweeping Raina to the boundary but did not stay long, the Irishman fourth out at 117 in the 30th over when he was stumped by Dhoni of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Instead of heralding the expected collapse, England rallied through Root and Jos Buttler, who treated the crowd to some sumptuous strokes.

The pair creamed 55 off the second five-over powerplay, Root smiting a huge six off Jadeja towards the old pavilion and Buttler upper-cutting Yadav for six over third man. Root was more aggressive, outscoring Buttler by 56 runs to 49 before the Lancashire man ran himself out to end a stand of 108 in 14 overs.

After Root slog-swept Jadeja to reach his hundred from 105 balls, he reverse-swept his next delivery to the boundary and lofted the next one for six towards the Rugby Stand.

Root perished in the next over, paddling Shami to Ashwin at short fine-leg.

Chris Woakes was yorked by Shami, who recorded his side’s best figures of 2-52, before Stokes ended the innings with an unbeaten 33 off 23 balls.

England’s total was comfortably their highest of the series, although there was not much competition for that particular accolade.

India’s reply began badly when Ajinkya Rahane turned the third ball of the innings from James Anderson to point.

Anderson struck again when Virat Kohli edged to Cook at first slip, Moeen reducing India to 49-3 when he bowled Shikhar Dhawan.

With 51 on the board, Steven Finn suffered two dropped catches in the space of three balls, Ambati Rayadu grassed by Woakes at third man and Raina spilled by Cook at slip.

Rayadu, who had six at the time, had advanced to 53 when he skied Stokes to Cook at mid-on, Raina going caught behind to Ali as India slid to 132-5 in the 31st over.

Dhoni was caught at point by Stokes off Finn, who reciprocated when Ashwin skied the Durham man to cover.

A combination of Stokes and Finn ran out Kumar, Stokes claiming his third wicket when Shami sliced to Hales at cover.

Jadeja hammered an ODI career-best from 68 balls, with nine fours and two sixes, but his fireworks were in vain.

Root was the star of this Yorkshire show, one that was not a panacea for England’s one-day woes but at least a step in the right direction.

Scorecard: Page 5.