Joe Root heaped praise on fellow centurion Adam Lyth and young gun Harry Brook after a brilliant day three for Yorkshire against Kent at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.
The White Rose are on course for an LV= Insurance County Championship win, with Kent 33-2 chasing 445.
Root made 101, while Lyth hit 116 and Brook an exhilarating 66 not out before Yorkshire declared their second innings on 330 an hour before close.
Root shared 119 for the third wicket with Lyth and 96 for the fourth with Brook after the England Test captain put scores of 16, 13 and 11 in his first three Championship innings of 2021 behind him.
Root also confirmed his availability for next week’s trip to face Sussex at Hove, the news capping off an excellent day all round.
“It was important that we got a couple of really good partnerships, and it gave us a chance to dictate terms towards the back end of the day,” he said.
“It was obviously brilliant to finish off with a couple of wickets.
“Hopefully we can build on that tomorrow morning, get a couple more and drive home what would be a very good, ruthless performance.
“It’s hard to be quite fluid and time the ball consistently on that wicket.
“It was more a mental grind than anything. But there will be opportunities there if we can be patient enough and relentless in testing their defence.
“It’s always felt like there’s a little bit of seam movement, especially with the new ball. If we can get two more quick ones, we’ll feel we’re in a really strong position.”
On Lyth, who has posted two hundreds in two matches and has 380 runs for the campaign so far, he said: “Lythy’s in cracking form, and he’s played lovely all season. Let’s be honest, he saved us in the last game almost single-handedly. That was a brilliant innings.
“In the first innings here, he looked like he was batting on a completely different wicket to the rest of the guys. He was hitting the ball so fluently.
“It’s great to see him in that form.
“I think he’s worked on a few (technical) things and gone back to some things he started his first-class career with, and it’s paid off for him.”
On Brook, he said: “Brooky is hitting the ball so fluently. It’s a joy to watch him bat at the minute.
“He’s got a slightly new technique as well, and he looks like he’s got so much time and is hitting the ball so hard. It’s really impressive to see.”
Root was more relieved to post a score than worried following three innings of sub 20.
He said: “I know that I am a good player and can score runs. I’ve proven that to myself. It was just more of a frustration that, coming back here (to Yorkshire), you want to be leading the way in many ways and setting a good example to the rest of the guys.
“It was nice to follow that through today, and hopefully I can do that for the rest of the games I play for Yorkshire.
And on Sussex next week, he added: “I am available, and hopefully (there will be some more appearances after that). But I don’t know when they’ll be just yet.”