ENG vs WI: Joe Root rues unresponsive Grenada pitch
England centurion Joe Root regrets the state of the wicket for second Test against West Indies
Grenada: Joe Root admitted pitches like the one in Grenada make it easier to make centuries and harder to win games, as West Indies batted themselves into a position of relative comfort on Day Four of the second Test on Friday.
Joe Root leaves the field on Friday. Pic/AFP
Regardless of the state of the wicket, Root was in superb touch on his way to 182 not out in the morning session, his second highest score and the fourth of his six hundreds to pass the 150 mark.
But for the second match in a row England's hopes of pushing for victory were railroaded by a dead pitch that was arguably better for run-making than on day one. Root's efforts left the West Indies with a 165-run deficit, but they cleared that to finish 37 ahead on 202 for two at stumps.
Speaking after the match, Root lifted the lid on the tourists' frustrations. "These pitches are great for batters because we get big scores but as far as Test cricket is concerned, it's not ideal," he said.
"Unfortunately, it's a very unresponsive pitch and it's been hard work. We all thought it might break up a little bit more and give a little bit more spin than it has done, but unfortunately it hasn't happened. This is what we've got to deal with, and we've just got to get on the best we can."
Awaiting something incredible
In all likelihood, the destiny of the game will be decided in the morning. England are five overs away from a new ball - which has been the only bankable way of making things happen - and must make it count with a cluster of wickets to set themselves for success.
"We're going to need a very good first hour in the morning," he said.
Marlon Samuels, who memorably saluted Ben Stokes after his dismissal on the third evening, was not sledged when he arrived at the crease but Root had no guarantees that would continue.
"Everyone was very well behaved tonight, there was no-one speaking up. We'll see how tomorrow goes. Concentration might come into it, and maybe a bit of banter could spice things up a bit."
James Anderson featured in all six dismissals as the West Indies crashed to 286 for eight at lunch on the final day of the second Test against England at the National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Trailing on first innings by 165 runs, the home side will go into the penultimate session ahead by 121 runs with captain Denesh Ramdin and Devendra Bishoo battling to defy the tourists who were reinvigorated by the exploits of their most successful Test bowler.
Anderson put his team on course to make amends for being held to a draw in Antigua as he struck three vital blows almost immediately after the second new ball was taken on the fifth morning.
Resuming in apparent comfort at 202 for two, and with the odds in their favour of ensuring a draw on a placid pitch, West Indies' innings of solid defiance was transformed into a panic-stricken capitulation the moment Anderson removed Kraigg Brathwaite for 116 to a catch by Joe Root.