Joe Root’s school teacher at primary level in Yorkshire said, while Root batted in school days, he resembled like a tiny Rahul Dravid. It was hard to beat his defence and concentration. At a very young age his composure earned the accolades from everyone. It has not changed until today, but has matured with time.

He was at his defensive best at Manchester on Day 3. The Australian bowlers were not targeting the top of off that much while Nathan Lyon bowled straighter enough with a leg gully. Root exploited the opportunity provided – runs leaked through square on the offside against pace and leg against spin.

When the line improved he displayed his concentration better. But there comes a time when the wall is breached by the persistence of someone like Josh Hazlewood. His Spartan line and length brought the end of a defiant resistance put up by Root and Rory Burns. Then Jason Roy was undone by a beautiful nip-backer.

Just when England thought they can end the day safely, Hazlewood ripped through in the span of a few overs. Another exhibition of persistence when it mattered the most. Certainly, Hazlewood means business like the tough Australian boys of past.

Again, it turned out to be Australia’s day.


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