Joe Root became the first England player after Kevin Pietersen to hit two tons in a single edition of the World Cup. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Joe Root single-handedly demolished West Indies in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash against West Indies in Southampton with a century and two wickets. His wicket of Shimron Hetmyer broke a solid stand with Nicholas Pooran and he also took the big wicket of Windies skipper Jason Holder as the West Indies were bowled out for a below-par score of 212. Root hurt West Indies with the bat by smashing a brilliant century to guide England to an eight-wicket win. Having also scored a century against Pakistan, Root has now amassed 279 runs in four matches, becoming the first England player to score two hundreds in a single edition of the World Cup since Kevin Pietersen 12 years ago. He has also become the first in history to compile three in total, as the hosts moved to the second position in the points table.
Skipper Eoin Morgan, who walked off the field due to a back spasm, has lavished praise on Root by stating the Yorkshire batsman continued to impress every single time. “He is such an important player for us, he is the glue that holds everything together and probably a side of his batting that's got better over the last two or three years that people haven't seen a lot of is his expansive game. He never seems to be scoring at less than a run a ball. You look up and he's going at more than a run a ball. It's exceptional to see him come out and be in this form,” Morgan said.
On his part, Root said he did not expect to get so many overs under his belt but added that every game presented a new avenue for improvement. “It's not about the number of runs you score and being the one that stands out in terms of individual accolades. It's about building those substantial partnerships that win you games and collectively getting the job done. I feel like I'm playing all right. I don't feel like I'm playing exceptionally well at the moment but I feel like I'm playing some good stuff and there's still loads of things that I want to keep working on and keep improving. It was important we didn't panic and kept it together. We managed to get across the line and did it really convincingly in the end so it's a really good sign and will fill the dressing room with a lot of confidence in knowing that we don't have to go about things in just one way to be successful,” Root said.
On his bowling, Root said, “I didn't really expect (to get so many overs). I got the opportunity and it was nice to pick up a few wickets. I probably burgled them rather than out-skilled them. I'm not the most skilful off-spinner, so I was just trying to be as unpredictable as possible.”
England will now play Afghanistan in Manchester on June 18 while West Indies face a vital clash against Bangladesh in Taunton on June 17.