Manchester: Joe Root was delighted to match words with deeds after his Test-best 254 put England on course for a series-leveling win against Pakistan at Old Trafford on Saturday.
When he was 141 not out overnight, the England vice-captain made clear his determination to 'go big'.
That he was still hungry for runs was shown by a more than 10-hour knock that was the cornerstone of England's imposing first innings 589 for eight declared.
It was a total that looked all the more mammoth as Pakistan collapsed to 57 for four before stumps on the second day of the second Test.
Chris Woakes, who earlier in the day made a brisk fifty as nightwatchman during a fifth-wicket century stand with Root, emphasised his increasing worth as a Test all-rounder by also taking three for 18 in six overs before Saturday's close.
"It was very satisfying, very pleasing to finally go and make one count," Root, who twice got himself out during Pakistan's 75-run win in the first of a four-Test series at Lord's last week, told reporters.
"They were poor dismissals (at Lord's), and I've worked very hard this week to try and take them out of my game — and given the opportunity, to make it count," the 25-year-old Yorkshireman added.
"That's why I was so revved up when I got to 200, because it was a lot of hard work paying off."
Not that Root was alone in making the Pakistan attack toil on a good batting pitch.
Friday's first day saw Root and captain Alastair Cook (105) put on 185 for the second wicket.
Root also shared further century stands with Woakes and Jonny Bairstow, who both made 58 on Saturday.
"More than anything, I thought the way we continued to build partnerships ... to take the game away from Pakistan, was exactly what we needed to do," said Root.
"It could have been very easy for us to lose a couple of early wickets and let them back into the game.
"But Chris played outstandingly well this morning, and then the guys who came in afterwards continued that."
Woakes only got the chance to revive his Test career after fellow England all-rounder Ben Stokes, returning in this match, suffered a knee injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley in May.
But the 27-year-old Warwickshire favourite has seized his chance with Saturday's display the latest of several fine efforts this season with both bat and ball.
"He's been outstanding this summer, and it's great to see," said Root.
"It just shows where he is with his game at the moment, coming to Cookie last night and saying 'I want to do the nightwatchman -- I want to get out there and play'.
"It's great to have guys in the squad taking responsibility and wanting to stick their hand up and make a statement to the team and the opposition."
This series has seen Root promoted to number three, a position occupied in many Test sides by a team's best batsman.
"It's very nice to get a big score early on batting at three, and I hope it's the first of a few," said Root.
Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower said a long stint in the field was no excuse for the tourists' collapse.
"That was extremely damaging," he said. "It wasn't good enough, but we still have good players to come in and we will have to bat better second time around."
The former Zimbabwe batsman added: "There was weariness, and a huge score like that plays mind tricks. But that's what happens in Test cricket, so it's no excuse."
Published Date: Jul 24, 2016 10:39 AM | Updated Date: Jul 24, 2016 10:39 AM