High pressure, Lord's Cricket Ground, first test under a new captain, team reeling at 69/4, and what does Joe Root do?
He comes in, slams a staggering 100, turns out to be the ultimate difference-maker, takes his side home, reinforces himself as an absolute legend of Test cricket, and leaves.
That's Joseph Edward Root for you.
With this monster of an innings, Joe Root crossed the coveted 10,000-run landmark and became only the second English player after Sir Alastair Cook to reach there. They both are now the joint-youngest to enter the 10,000-run club.
Over the years, Root has established himself as the go-to player for England in the test side. Amidst all the losses, the collapses, the changes, one thing remained constant - the runs kept coming for Joe Root.
He was, is, and will always be the calm in the chaos for this English Test side. He is the glue that holds the lineup together, and without him, the side risks losing its very soul.
He might have stepped down from the captaincy, but numbers-wise, he is the greatest test captain England has ever had. He has led the team in 64 test matches and won 27 out of them. As a batsman, Root scored 5295 in 118 innings with 14 hundreds and 26 fifties.
Well, these stats are impressive, of course. But wait till you look at his record in 2021. Root amassed 1708 runs in 15 matches. Hit 6 tons, 4 fifties, with the highest score of 228. He was the highest run-getter in 2021 and was also named the ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year.
Fair to say, he is in a league of his own. The Lord's Test vs NZ was just another instance that proved the worth Joe carries with him in the English Test side.
After all, he is, was, and will always be the calm in the chaos for England.