On this day in 2021: Joe Root makes his 100th Test memorable with a ton

Joe Root had an outstanding year in 2021 as far as his individual performances are concerned. Many had questioned his place in the modern-day Fab 4 featuring the likes of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson but, he proved them wrong by making his bat talk. In the first two months of the year gone by, Root had proved his mettle on tough sub-continent wickets with consistent performances on the 22 yards.

The England Test skipper was adjudged the Player of the Series for his match-winning 228 which was followed by an impactful 186 as England whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0 at the start of 2021. With the confidence of having won a red-ball series in the sub-continent, a spirited English team landed in India to rewrite history after the 2012/13 season and it was Joe Root who once again led his team brilliantly from the front with a match-winning century on Day 1 of the series opener on this very day last year.

Joe Root’s double century helps England draw first blood

The first of the four Tests was played at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium. The coin landed in the favor of the visitors and they decided to bat first. Despite losing the top-order with not too many runs on the board, Root, who was featuring in his 100th Test match, made the most of the occasion and scored easily on a good batting track and ended up breaching the three-figure mark as he remained unbeaten on 128 at the end of Day 1.

The Yorkshire cricketer resumed Day 2 from where he had left and took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners along with Ben Stokes (82). He scored his fifth double century before being caught plumb in front of the wicket by Shahbaz Nadeem as the visitors posted 578. India in reply were bowled out for 337 in their first innings.

England in their second innings were bundled out for 178 with Joe Root once again top-scoring for them with 40, thereby setting a target of 420 for India. Spinner Jack Leach (4/76) and veteran pacer James Anderson (3/17) rattled the Indian batting line up and despite half-centuries from opener Shubman Gill (50) and captain Virat Kohli (72), the hosts were skittled for just 192.

The visitors took an early lead in the Test series with an emphatic 227-run win and Joe Root was adjudged the Player of the Match for his impactful knocks in both innings. However, the Indian team staged a remarkable comeback after this game and ended up winning the four-match series 3-1.