Root: Grenada pitch ‘not ideal’

Regardless of the state of the wicket, Root was in superb touch on his way to 182 not out in the morning session, his second highest score and the fourth of his six hundreds to pass the 150 mark.

But for the second match in a row England’s hopes of pushing for victory were railroaded by a dead pitch that was arguably better for run-making than on day one.

Root’s efforts left the West Indies with a 165-run deficit, but they cleared that to finish 37 ahead on 202-2 at stumps.

Speaking after the match, Root lifted the lid on the tourists’ frustrations.

“These pitches are great for batters because we get big scores but as far as Test cricket is concerned, it’s not ideal,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it’s a very unresponsive pitch and it’s been hard work

“We all thought it might break up a little bit more and give a little bit more spin than it has done, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened. This is what we’ve got to deal with, and we’ve just got to get on the best we can.”

In all likelihood, the destiny of the game will be decided in the morning.

England are five overs away from a new ball – which has been the only bankable way of making things happen – and must make it count with a cluster of wickets to set themselves for success.

“We’re going to need a very good first hour in the morning,” he said.

“With the new ball we’ll need a couple of early wickets and you never know. They’re only 40 ahead, so if it’s bang bang in the morning we’ve got a game on our hands.

“That would definitely give us the best chance of winning the game on a very flat wicket.

“Our only chance is wickets with the new ball, whether it be with seam or spin, That’s the way it looks at the moment, but you never know.”

West Indies go in with Kraigg Brathwaite on 101no having compiled a dogged fourth Test ton and England’s tormentor-in-chief Marlon Samuels alongside.

Samuels, who memorably saluted Ben Stokes after his dismissal on the third evening, was not sledged when he arrived at the crease but Root had no guarantees that would continue.

“Everyone was very well behaved tonight, there was no-one speaking up,” he added.

“We’ll see how tomorrow goes. Concentration might come into it, and maybe a bit of banter could spice things up a bit.”