Joe Root praised Yorkshire’s response with the bat against Derbyshire today after a disappointing display across the two innings of last weekend’s defeat at Lord’s.

Yorkshire dominated the opening day of their fourth round Vitality County Championship fixture at Headingley today, closing on 276-3 from 59 overs.

Root made 65 not out, added to 97 from Adam Lyth, 44 not out for Harry Brook and 40 for captain Shan Masood.

For a side with promotion aims in Division Two, this is clearly a big game – Yorkshire are searching for their first win in game number four. But they have made a perfect start, with the help of Root and his fellow England star Harry Brook.

“It was nice to respond to a bad week with the bat as a team at Middlesex,” he said. “It shows where we’re at as a group. 

“There’s a good togetherness, taking things in the right way and responding well to any frustrations we might encounter.

“It was quite a strange wicket. It’s on the slower side and quite tacky and soft. 

“I actually think we’re probably in a better position than you’d expect to be in at this stage in the game. But things can change quickly.

“With the short boundary, it flatters the scoreline a bit. I think it’s a good day.

“They obviously missed a few chances, and we managed to capitalise on that and build some good partnerships. We’ve set things up nicely and have to crack on tomorrow. 

“Hopefully we get some good weather. But because of the rate we’ve scored, I feel like we could be in a good position long-term in the game.”

Root scored his runs the day after being present at an Antigua and Barbuda Tourist Authority dinner at Headingley, where the island’s four cricketing Sirs, Andy Roberts, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards and Curtly Ambrose spoke about their careers.

Root, Lyth and four Sirs

Joe Root, Sir Richie Richardson, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Sir Andy Roberts, Adam Lyth at Headingley last night

They talked about playing in England, with the general consensus being that the weather is generally rubbish here.

Incidentally, at one stage, Richards drew a huge round of applause from the crowd when he spoke directly to Root, sat at his table. “You’re class, man, real class,” he said. 

Going back to today, Root said: “It was everything that the four Sirs said last night, wasn’t it. It freezing cold, cloudy and overcast. 

“But when you watch Brooky and Lythy time the ball the way they did, I felt it was a bit more of a grind for me personally.

“Sometimes, that’s what needs to be done – to stay out there for as long as you can and things do get easier and more free-flowing. Hopefully I can get going tomorrow.

“It was nice because I’ve felt like I’ve not really contributed how you’d want to so far this season. To still be out there is quite a nice feeling.”

Root has now scored two fifties in five Championship innings. It has been by no means a disastrous start, but here is a player with such high standards. 

Asked why he believes it has been a challenge, he added: “There’s never a motivation issue. 

“I do think there’s a different rhythm to the game (in county cricket) and different challenges you have to overcome to Test Cricket. But that’s all part of the challenge and trying to be a good enough player to manage those different situations and positions within cricket.

“You could almost look at it as flipping into a different format of the game. I don’t mean that as any disrespect. It’s just that the blunt truth of it is that there are different things you have to contend with.

“You don’t often get keepers stood up to the stumps to the seamers, and generally there’s more pace behind it as well (in Test Cricket).

“We’ve had some poor weather and some very soft wickets because of it. 

“Again, you have to be a good enough player to overcome that and find different ways to manage it.”

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