• Root relishes pushing through tough start

    Captain Joe Root is pleased to triumph after a shaky start, as his century led England to a position of command on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kandy on Friday.

    Root struck a solid 124, as the hosts reached 324-9 and a healthy 278-run lead.

    ‘To start I felt a bit all over the place, a bit hectic. I was like a reverse swan. I felt quite calm underneath but the legs were flapping on the outside,’┬áRoot told Sky Sports.

    ‘It was just about trying to get the bowlers to bowl in the areas you want to, take a few risks early, and get used to how the surface is playing.

    ‘Once I’d got to about 20-odd, and got a few boundaries away, I felt I was picking the lengths in terms of sweeping. It made things a lot easier, and I was able to start working out a really good method on that surface.’

    The right-handed Root proved particularly successful with the sweep stroke against a Sri Lankan spin attack spearheaded by the dangerous Akila Dananjaya.

    ‘For the off-spinners, you want to mess around with the lines and which areas are best for them to bowl at. You play little individual games, you and your partner at the other end, and the best thing about it was that we kept the board going at a really good rate, which was credit to the guys to come out and play that way,’ he added.

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    Jonhenry Wilson