Joe takes Root and shows just what he can do

HE IS being hailed as England's next great batsman, and Joe Root showed he could be a major thorn in Australia's side this Ashes series after another century on day one of the first Test in Cardiff.

Root, still just 24, now has seven Test centuries to his name, scoring 134 off just 166 balls as his team reached 7-343 on the opening day.

He brought up his ton off 118 deliveries, the fastest century in the first innings of an Ashes series, beating the previous best of 124 balls by Australian Steve Waugh in 1989.

The tragedy for the Aussies in Cardiff was that Root was dropped second ball by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin before he had scored, with England struggling at 3-43.

Root's incredible form has seen him hit more runs this calendar year (675 at an average of 75) than any other player in Test cricket.

After fast bowler Ryan Harris announced his retirement prior to the series, there was concern for the Aussies with fellow quick Mitchell Starc unable to bowl late in the day with an ankle complaint.

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