Chennai, Feb 5 (IANS) On the eve of his 100th Test, England captain Joe Root received a “little surprise” from his teammates here on Thursday, and he was so overwhelmed by the occasion on Friday morning, when he went out for the toss with his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli for the first Test, he forgot his team. He, however, more than made up for the slip by scoring a memorable century.
“Very special [playing the 100th Test]. Last night, the guys put up a nice, little surprise for me. Got some videos from past players, friends and family and Ben [Stokes] in particular stood up and said really kind words. Then, to come today and for us to start the series in the way we have couldn’t have gone any better. We had a little blip in the end. We hope we can build on that [start] tomorrow,” Root said after the first day’s play.
Root declined to speak on what Stokes said on the eve of the match, but said that Stokes’s words inspired him. “It did [inspire me]. But I think it should stay between the two of us. Ben is a fine human being. It was nice of him to say some really special things. I will be a friend of him,” he said. “Guys had made it really special. I really appreciate it. It has been an amazing two days. You know if we can make this brilliant start count and build on it…”
On Friday, when Root walked out for the toss he forgot his team when he was asked about it. The 30-year-old batsman, however, gathered his wits soon enough to go on the crease and become only the ninth Test cricketer to score a century in his 100th Test.
“I was a little bit emotional. I couldn’t even remember our team when he [the commentator] asked me about it. I was a little bit all over the place. But, thankfully, when I went there, I knew it was business as normal. I had a job to do. I did it,” Root told the media after the day’s play.