Jos Buttler hails Joe Root's batting 'masterclass' in Sri Lanka

Jos Buttler hails Joe Root’s batting ‘masterclass’ following his 186 against Sri Lanka and praises England captain’s ‘hunger’ after maintaining his stunning form from the first Test

  • Jos Buttler has hailed Joe Root’s powers of concentration, endurance and skill
  • Root produced a marathon effort of 186 to reduce England’s deficit in Sri Lanka
  • He was eventually run out in the final over of day three after an epic innings
  • It came after the 30-year-old captain’s brilliant 228 at the same venue last week

Jos Buttler paid tribute to Joe Root’s powers of concentration, endurance and skill after another epic innings held England’s batting together in Galle.

Root, who has spent all but half an hour of the second Test on the field, repelled everything that Sri Lanka threw at him with the ball and fought off sapping temperatures, attacks of cramp and back spasms in a marathon effort of 186 that was only terminated by a stunning run-out by Oshada Fernando from short leg in the final over of the third day.

It continued the 30-year-old’s brilliant 228 on the same ground last week and helped his side to within 42 runs of the hosts’ 381 with one wicket standing.

Jos Buttler hailed Joe Root’s batting in the first innings of the second Test as a ‘masterclass’

Root continued his stunning form in Galle after a brilliant 228 on the same ground last week

‘It was a masterclass in batting against spin, and it has been a great education for all of us, watching from the sidelines,’ Buttler said.

‘We’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him and gutted for him to get out in that fashion at the end of the day.

‘For the eight days of cricket so far here, he’s been pretty much on the field. Especially in this game, it seems a lot hotter, a lot more draining than the first game – which had rain breaks as well – so we have to not just praise the tactical and technical aspects of this game but the physicality and concentration to apply himself for so long.

Buttler, who struck a half-century himself in a 97-run stand that checked Sri Lankan momentum after the seven-wicket spinner Lasith Embuldeniya claimed Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence in the first hour of the morning, said Root’s skill level was ‘second to none’ in recalling a switch hit for four he himself would have been proud of.

Root repelled everything Sri Lanka threw at him with the ball and fought off cramp and back spasms

A series tally of 415 runs has hoisted the Yorkshire batsman’s average just shy of 50 once again following a spell of 14 months without a hundred – not that the form has come any surprise to his international colleagues.

‘It certainly felt having watching him in the first warm-up we had between ourselves he was playing beautifully and looked determined,’ Buttler added.

‘I know he’s talked about that and the high standards he sets for himself, about his under-performing, but it’s pretty good for others.

‘He certainly sits at the top table of cricketers in the world and the standards he sets himself and drives on to achieve is what makes him so good.

‘That hunger to back up a double in the first game, to go and score another massive hundred just shows where he is at with his game.’ 

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