Getting Root out crucial for Proteas

Joe Root (Gallo Images)
Joe Root (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - A lot will be said about the quality of South Africa's bowling at certain stages, but even if the attack was inconsistent at times nothing can be taken away from what was a masterful display of batting from Joe Root. 

The England trump card finished the day on 106* - the ninth century of his Test career - to leave England on the verge of taking control of the match.

The visitors are still 75 runs behind the Proteas first innings score of 313, but with Root an Bairstow at the wicket and with Moeen Ali and Steven Finn still to come, a lot will depend on the first hour of play on Saturday.

According to Proteas bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, Root's wicket could be the key.

"Tomorrow is about trying to settle down … if we get the ball in the right areas, not too full and not too short, we can get something going," said Langeveldt.

"Root is a good player, if we get him out early that could be key for us. They’ve got a long tail so we’ll need to get wickets up front."

Langeveldt said the plan when bowling Root was simply to get the ball in the right areas - something South Africa didn't do enough of while bowling to him and Stokes.

"He (Stokes) has been playing well. We had game plans … it didn’t work out," said Langeveldt.

"Especially on this wicket you need to get a lot more balls in the right areas and I think we didn’t bowl as well as we could to him. We’ve got tomorrow to correct it as well.

"To Joe Root it’s just to keep it as simple as possible. He’s quite good square of the wicket."

England will start day three on 238/5, 75 runs behind South Africa's first innings total of 313.

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