He’s phenomenal – Zak Crawley hails Joe Root as ‘one of the best’ after century

By Sports Desk February 23, 2024

England batter Zak Crawley hailed Joe Root’s spectacular return to form after the Yorkshire star hit an unbeaten 106 to leave his side in a strong position at stumps on the first day of the fourth Test against India in Ranchi.

Having averaged 12.83 after his first three matches of the series, Root produced a superb performance, including a 113-run stand with Ben Foakes, which Crawley believes rubber-stamped his team-mate as one of the best batters in his country’s history.

Crawley told TNT Sports: “We’re so happy for him and we never doubted him. If anything we know that when he’s got a couple of low scores he’s even more likely to get the big one, and we expected that from him.

“He’s phenomenal, and he’s one of, if not the best we’ve ever had playing for England.”

England initially struggled on an unpredictable pitch with Crawley bowled by Akash Deep on 42, but the opener praised the way the tourists hit back to reach 302 for seven at close.

Jonny Bairstow made a rapid 38 while Foakes contributed a steady 47 to his stand with Root. Ollie Robinson also finished the day unbeaten on 31.

Crawley added: “It was tricky early on with the ball nipping around a lot and we had to throw a couple of punches back, which I think myself and Jonny did well.

“I was trying to bat normally at the start but it was so difficult – I just felt like there was one with my name on eventually. I thought I’d throw something back and I did start to feel a bit more comfortable after that.

“The boys played unbelievably in the middle session and then Joe got very good support from Tom (Hartley) and Ollie as well.

“I said beforehand that if we get 280 to 300, we’re in a very good position so I stand by that – we are ahead of the game.”

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