England v Bangladesh, Champions Trophy 2017 June 1, 2017

Class and elegance, the Root way

Joe Root showed off his limited-overs repertoire with another innings laden with delectable strokes

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Star turn

Joe Root does not pummel the ball. He rarely ever swings through the line. His favourite area is not the arc between mid-on and midwicket. Root has, in his own unique style, shown those aren't requisites in modern limited-overs cricket. Faced with a tricky chase against a scrappy opponent, Root showed off his range, particularly through cover, to notch up his 10th ODI century, and lead England's canter past Bangladesh in the tournament opener.

With powerful hitters through their batting line-up, Root's role in England's ODI team is to anchor the innings at his usual pace. His defensive technique is impeccable and he can switch into higher gears seamlessly. He used the same modus operandi against a tight bowling attack. He weathered a tidy opening spell, but picked the gaps when bowlers were forced away from their lines.

After cruising to his century, he brought out his T20 repertoire: heaves over long-on, short-arm jabs off good-length deliveries and lofted drives over the infield. Still, not a shot was out of place.

The wow moment

Despite England being in control, Root was aware that the match was still there to be lost and, after reaching his century, he shut the door on an increasing asking rate. Rubel Hossain erred, full and straight in the 45th over. He may have been hoping for a firm clip through midwicket, much like Root had done all afternoon. Instead, Root brought his bat down at a different angle and swung through the line. A clean, atypical golf swing over long-on stamped his authority on the opening game.

Once he reached his century, Joe Root shut the door on an increasing asking rate and kept Bangladesh out of the match © Getty Images

Stats that matter

  • Of his first 100 runs, 76 came in singles and twos

  • Root scored his first 50 runs at a strike rate of 84.74 and his next 50 at 89.28. His last 33 runs came at a strike rate of 235.71.

What they said

"There's a lot of confidence in the dressing room, we back each other and it rubs off on everyone. [Plan was] making sure we had plenty of wickets in hand at the back end, one of the top four being not out between 70 and 100, we did a really good job."
Joe Root on his approach

"Roooooooooooooottttttttttttttt. #ProperPlayer"
Michael Vaughan on Twitter

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo