With his team in trouble at 17/2, Root quelled South Africa’s early dominance on Day One of the first Test at Lord’s.
And while Vernon Philander (3/46) and Morne Morkel were at their best, Root got his team back into the match with a defiant knock of 184*.
It was advantage SA, though, in the morning session as Philander removed both openers Alistair Cook (lbw for 3) and Keaton Jennings (caught behind for 8).
And when Gary Ballance was trapped lbw by Morne Morkel for 20, the Proteas were in control at 80/4
As it turned out, the day belonged to Root as he played the Proteas’ bowling attack with the greatest of ease to guide his team to 357/5 at stumps.
New Proteas skipper Dean Elgar tried his utmost best to unsettle the English, even tossing the ball to Temba Bavuma as well as Theunis de Bruyn.
But none of the part-time bowlers could remove Root as the Poms recovered well to end the day in the driving seat.