Root completes half-century on debut

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Joe Root Joe Root

Debutant Joe Root completed an admirable half-century as he and Matt Prior took England's sixth-wicket stand into three figures on the second morning of the final Test against India.

Prior (57no) was the first to twin 50s, defying the physics of this deathly slow pitch to bag a trademark square-cut off Pragyan Ojhan for his sixth four to reach the milestone in 124 balls.

Twenty-one-year-old Root (50no), a surprise inclusion for this match which England need to at least draw to complete a historic series victory here, needed 154 deliveries to pass his 50.

There were only two boundaries along the way for him in a nonetheless convincing innings which hinted at the Yorkshireman's significant potential as a Test batsman.

It was a telling performance too in the context of the match, after Root and Prior had joined forces on a vulnerable 139 for five yesterday but progressed to 241 together an hour into day two.

Their first task on Friday morning was to negotiate another spell from Ishant Sharma, on this low surface which has made India's solitary seamer a bigger threat than any of their four spinners.

There were no scrapes against any of the bowlers, though, as England's batsmen kept their patience and tailored their shot-making to the limitations of the pitch.

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