Joe Root blasts England out of trouble in Test against New Zealand
Joe Root hailed a "fantastic effort" from England after helping them stage a superb recovery on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand, with the Yorkshire batsman putting the fightback down to adopting a more aggressive mindset.
England looked in all sorts of trouble when they were reduced to 30 for four after being put into bat at Lord's, but their middle order of Root (98), Ben Stokes (92), Jos Buttler (67) and Moeen Ali (49 not out) helped the hosts finish the day on 354 for seven.
It would have been even better for Alastair Cook's men but for the dismissal of Buttler off the final delivery of the day, trapped lbw by Trent Boult, but Root was nevertheless a happy man at the close.
He said: "Fantastic effort from the lads. If at 12 o'clock you'd have said this was the score at the end of the day, we'd have snatched your hand off.
"I thought the partnerships we built throughout the innings were fantastic. I thought the way that Ben came in and played from the start took a lot of pressure off me."
The fifth-wicket stand of 161 between Root and Stokes helped change the face of the game, with the duo scoring at more than five runs an over as they took the attack back to the Black Caps.
Root admitted it was a conscious decision to go on the offensive, saying: "We went out there with the mentality of trying to counter-attack. We thought they've been aggressive at us, there was plenty of gaps and opportunities to score and that's what we were going to do."