'Genius' Joe Root makes history with double century in 100th Test

By Sports Desk February 06, 2021

Joe Root became the first man to mark a 100th Test cap with a double century as England continued to dominate in the first Test against India.

The captain advanced from his overnight 128 to reach 209 not out at tea, with England on 454-4 and looking to bat their hosts out of the game.

Until Saturday, the previous highest score by a batsman on his 100th Test appearance was the 184 that Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq made in 2005 against India.

Former England captain Alastair Cook hailed Root as "a genius", suggesting he might yet go on to pass 300 in the innings, while Kevin Pietersen tweeted to call for the Yorkshireman to be knighted.

Speaking on Channel 4, Cook said: "He's batted India into submission in five sessions.

"It's been an absolute masterclass from him and who says he ain't going for that triple.

"He hasn't looked in any trouble whatsoever. He's an absolutely fantastic batsman, we're watching a genius play.

"He's continued where he's been all winter. The guy is in the form of his life and most importantly he's cashing in."

Last month saw Root make 228 and 186 in England's two-Test series against Sri Lanka.

Root found strong support on Saturday from Ben Stokes, who made a rapid 82 before falling to Shahbaz Nadeem, while Ollie Pope was unbeaten on 24 at tea.

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  • Qatar 2022 – 100 days to go: France or Brazil? Plus Messi and Ronaldo's chances – Stats Perform AI predicts the finals Qatar 2022 – 100 days to go: France or Brazil? Plus Messi and Ronaldo's chances – Stats Perform AI predicts the finals

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    Every match has been run through the Stats Perform World Cup prediction model to calculate the estimated probability of the outcome (win, draw or loss). This uses odds from betting markets and Stats Perform team rankings, which are based on historical and recent performances.

    It takes into consideration the strength of each team's opponents as well as the difficulty of their respective paths to the final, plus the make-up of the groups and any relevant seedings heading into the knockouts.

    Then, the rest of the tournament is simulated 40,000 times and analysed, providing the AI team with a percentage for each nation, showing the probability of them ultimately lifting the trophy at the Lusail Stadium on December 18.

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    Suspend your disbelief! Yes, reigning champions France have the greatest probability of winning the World Cup this year, with our model giving them an almost 18-per cent chance of clinching a third title.

    But let's not overlook how remarkable an achievement that would be. No team has retained the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, and the only other occasion of that happening was in the 1930s when Italy won it back-to-back.

    France were the favourites heading into Euro 2020 but were ultimately disappointing – they'll need to do significantly better here otherwise their fate could be sealed by the dreaded winners' curse.

    Each of the past four European winners of the World Cup have been eliminated in the group stages, a trend that began with Les Bleus in 2002.

     

    2. Brazil (15.7 per cent)

    Another unsurprising entry. That's right, record winners Brazil come in at second in terms of likelihood of winning the World Cup.

    Tite's side qualified with ease and clearly have an extremely talented group of players available to them – the problem is getting them all on the pitch at one time while retaining a cohesive and balanced shape.

    If Tite can find the magic formula at the World Cup this time, at the very least you'd expect them to get beyond the quarter-finals, the stage they crashed out to Belgium four years ago in Kazan.

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    3. Spain (11.5 per cent)

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    Either way, few can deny it was a sign of progress: they reached the Russia 2018 semi-finals, the final at Euro 2020, so surely Qatar 2022 is theirs already?

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    10. Croatia (2.3 per cent)
    11. Denmark (2.0 per cent)
    12. Uruguay (1.5 per cent)
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    19. Wales (0.4 per cent)
    20. Qatar (0.4 per cent)
    21. South Korea (0.4 per cent)
    22. Serbia (0.2 per cent)
    23. Senegal (0.2 per cent)
    24. Ecuador (0.2 per cent)
    25. Australia (0.1 per cent)
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