Joe Root celebrated a timely return to form with a double century in Hamilton on Monday as England forged a 101-run lead over New Zealand on the fourth day of the second Test.
The England captain reached the milestone with a risky single with batting partner Ollie Pope slow off the mark and only keeping his wicket when the throw at the stumps went wide.
A sheepish Root apologized to Pope for nearly burning him before taking his helmet off and raising his bat to the crowd.
By reaching his double ton, Root became the first visiting captain to ever score a 200 in New Zealand.
Joe Root now becomes the first visiting Test captain to score a double century in New Zealand.#NZvENG
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) December 2, 2019
In the Hamilton Test, Root came out to bat after England found themselves in a tricky position, having lost two wickets within the first ten overs. Root, alongside Rory Burns (101), stabilized the visitors’ innings before putting them in a commanding position.
Ollie Pope (75) forged another important partnership with Root, steering England to lead in the first innings. Root was eventually dismissed on 226 by Mitchell Santner.
Joe Root doubters right now pic.twitter.com/bAEuqMYbQP
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) December 2, 2019
Root surpassed the West Indies opener Chris Gayle (197) to register the highest score by a visiting captain in New Zealand. He is now the fourth England captain to score a double hundred in an overseas Test. Len Hutton (205, in Kingston 1954), Ted Dexter (205, in Karachi 1962) and Alastair Cook (263, in Abu Dhabi 2015) have scored double-tons for England as captains.
Among the English batsmen, Graham Thorpe was the last batsman to score a double century in New Zealand. He remained unbeaten on 200 in Christchurch in 2002.
Overall, it was the first double-century in New Zealand by an overseas player since Shakib Al Hasan slammed 217 in Wellington in January 2017.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
No Englishman in Test history has as many runs *and* a higher average than Joe Root. #NZvENG
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) December 2, 2019
Joe Root may not be a great skipper. But he can pump out big runs at important times.
— Dennishaan Masood (@DennisCricket_) December 2, 2019
YEEEEESSS @root66!! 2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 2, 2019
— The Cricket Times (@CricketTimesHQ) December 2, 2019
Joe Root was out of the top 10 in the Test batting rankings for the first time in four and a half years, but now he is definitely in the top 6 with this double century. Century after 9 months & convert a 200s & just matter of time. Class inns by Class player👏. @root66 #NZvENG
— Tanuj Kumar Singh (@TanujKumarSin17) December 2, 2019
Highest test score by a captain against New Zealand:
Joe Root – 226.
Sachin Tendulkar – 217.
Virat Kohli – 211.
Allan Border – 205.
Hanif Mohammed – 203*.
Chris Gayle – 197.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) December 2, 2019
Joe Root has his third Test double hundred! What an innings by the England captain! #ENG VS NZ
— Muhammad Noman (@Nomancricket29) December 2, 2019
— Santosh Chaurasia (@ChaurasiaVi23) December 2, 2019
💥 Third double ton in Tests for Joe Root 💥
— ICC (@ICC) December 2, 2019
— Claire Cottingham (@Cla_Cottingham) December 2, 2019