England: It is an honour to sit and watch Joe Root bat – Marcus Trescothick

Joe Root

Joe Root left the rest of the England squad purring after his latest superb century in the West Indies, with batting coach Marcus Trescothick declaring it “an honour” to watch him at work.

The England captain compiled an unbeaten 119 to set his side up on day one of the second Test in Barbados.

It was his second hundred in as many innings after his 109 in last week’s draw in Antigua, taking his career tally to 25. Eight of those have come since the start of 2021, at an average nudging up towards 60.

While the decision to stick with him as skipper after this winter’s 4-0 Ashes thrashing still has its critics, there is no doubting the esteem he holds within the dressing room.

“It’s an honour to stand there (in practice) and throw at him and then to sit back and watch him all day,” said Trescothick, who knows a thing or two about making Test hundreds after making 14 of his own.

“It’s just a real pleasure to sit there and watch it unfold and see how he goes about it. To see him batting in the fashion he has, the mental discipline and approach he’s putting into his batting to come back and start fresh every time… he’s in elite company, absolutely. There’s no reason why it can’t continue.

“He’ll be delighted to be not out overnight, following another good hundred last week. To do it all again he’ll be delighted.”

After Alex Lees set a slow but steady foundation with 30 in 138 balls at the top of the order, Root shared a stand of more colourful stand of 164 with Dan Lawrence.

Dan Lawrence departs but Joe Root remains

The latter was dismissed in the final act before stumps for 91 – a career-best score but agonisingly short of a maiden ton.

The duo proved an ideal double act, Root showing off his array of late cuts, sweeps and pulls while Lawrence forced the scoring rate with a ready willingness to drive on the up and take a calculated risk.

“To have Joe’s experience at the other end, someone who absorbs the pressure is perfect,” said Trescothick.

“He doesn’t make it look easy necessarily, but it fills you confidence and helps you enjoy the partnership.

Dan Lawrence fell short of a century
Dan Lawrence fell short of a century (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

“For the younger lads coming in to be putting scores in is a really nice place to be as well and we’re hoping we can keep forging that as we go through the series.

“You always take the positives and we will with Dan.”

West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick hinted that the hosts were once again disappointed by a pedestrian surface, following a similarly sluggish setting in the previous match.

“It’s a very, very good batting pitch. Not a lot of pace, not a lot of sideways movement, not a typical Barbadian pitch,” he said.

“I don’t know how it happened. If you’re a batter you want to bat on that pitch, if you’re a bowler you just think ‘wow’.”