Joe Root: England captain one of the best I've seen against spin - Michael Vaughan

England captain Joe Root celebrates reaching 150 against Sri Lanka in the second Test in Galle
Joe Root has scored 415 runs, at an average of 138.33, in the series

England captain Joe Root, who scored 186 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, is "the best right-handed player of spin in many years", says former skipper Michael Vaughan.

Root, who is now England's fourth-highest Test run-scorer, was run out off the final ball of the third day, but built on his 228 in the first Test.

"Everything about him is absolutely perfect to play spin," said Vaughan.

"Kids out there who want to learn how to play spin should study Root."

Root now averages 55.62 in Asia and the 30-year-old has overtaken Sir Geoffrey Boycott, Kevin Pietersen and David Gower this week in England's Test run-scorer charts.

Before last week's double century Root had failed to reach three figures in 15 innings, dating back to November 2019 when he made 226 against New Zealand in Hamilton.

"Root's innings was a copy and paste job from last week," added Vaughan, who captained England from 2003 to 2008.

"I've not seen a right hander, for many years, play spin as well Root has just done in the space of nine days."

How the 'Fab Four' compare
BatsmanAverage in Asia (against all bowlers)Average against spin (worldwide)
Virat Kohli63.9670.5
Joe Root55.6269.7
Steve Smith4867.7
Kane Williamson46.8157.7

Root's former team-mate Sir Alastair Cook, who is the only person to have scored more runs for England in Asia, said it was "unbelievable" how well Root has batted in this series.

"He played so well. Everyone else has really struggled and he has just looked in a totally different league," Cook added.

"They were two of the best innings you will see and yet he's walking off absolutely gutted that he didn't bat the day.

"It was the most extraordinary batting and he'll be sitting in his chair absolutely gutted."

England, who won the first Test at the same venue by seven wickets, ended day three in Galle on 339-9 - a deficit of 42 - with left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya taking 7-132.

Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who made 55 before being caught at short leg off the spinner, said Root's innings was an "education" to the rest of the team.

"We're in all awe of what Joe Root has just achieved really. He is one of the finest players of spin in the world," Buttler said.

"His gameplan is so sound and he's got shots all around the wicket.

"His powers of concentration are amazing and he barely put a foot wrong in the space of two days. It is fantastic to watch."

'A total pleasure to watch' - how social media reacted

Rob Meech: This is a phenomenal effort from Joe Root. There aren't enough superlatives to do this innings justice. A masterclass in focus, stamina, decision-making, strokeplay and talent. He's showing just why he's one of the very best batsmen in the world.

Robert Clark: Watching Joe Root this morning has been a total pleasure. So sad that fans are not there to witness in person, but what a performance. Focus, control, technique, patience.

Who are the top five batsmen in the world?

Where does Root rank among his peers after that latest epic knock? We've given you the world's top 10-ranked batsmen, according to the International Cricket Council's Test rankings, and want you to select your top five.

We'll let you know who gained the most selections in Monday's live text commentary of day four.

Pick your top five Test batsmen

After Joe Root's second century in as many games in Sri Lanka pick your top five Test batsmen from the current world top 10.

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