Rory Burns hailed a “beautiful” performance from Joe Root and was happy to get his own tempo right as both struck hundreds for England on day three of the second Test with New Zealand.
Burns hit only his second Test century as England fought back at Hamilton, while captain Root ended a long wait with his first ton in the five-day game since February.
Root’s 17th Test hundred will ease the pressure on the under-pressure skipper, who has consistently faced questions over whether the burden of the captaincy was affecting his form.
He stood unbeaten on 114 but Burns was run out on 101, with England going on to lose the wickets of Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley before the close, leaving them on 269-5 in reply to New Zealand’s 375.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Burns said of Root: “He played beautifully, to get himself back to where he wants to be, good Test match hundred and he’s still in and still fighting away and hopefully he’s going to make it a massive one.
“From a personal point I feel like I got my tempo right and managed to cash in.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 1, 2019
On the run-out, when he was pushing for a second run, Burns added: “I thought I was just about there. I thought I had enough in the tank but didn’t quite. That’s disappointing to miss out in that way, it could have been a real big one.”
England’s prospects of winning the match and saving the two-game series appear to be slim, with the tourists facing the likelihood of needing to bat well into day four to gain a lead with which they could declare and then attempt to claim an innings victory.
Burns, however, remained hopeful, saying: “There’s still a fair bit of batting there, it’s about getting as far ahead of them as we can now and see what we can enforce.”