Joe Root
Joe Root struck an impressive double century as England declared on 575-9 against Sri Lanka Getty

Joe Root kick started his summer with a blistering double century as England built a commanding position against opponents Sri Lanka in the first test.

The Yorkshire batsman converted his fourth Test century after taking to the crease on 102 after helping England recover from 120-4 at Lords on Wednesday.

Steadily rather than spectacularly, Root, batting number five, played a composed innings and finally made the milestone in the 131st overwith a single off spinner Rangana Herath. He reach his double ton off 298 balls, finding the boundary 16 times.

Captain Alastair Cook had waited for the landmark before declaring on 575-9.

England were helped along by impressive innings from the returning Matt Prior and Stuart Broad, whose 87 and 47 respectively pushed the homeside's total beyod the 500 mark.

Prior in particular would have been pleased with his efforts after selectors were criticised for his inclusion, which came at the expense of emerging talent Jos Buttler.


Root endured a torrid Ashes in Australia last winter and was dropped from the final Test in Sydney as England crumbled to a 5-0 whitewash.

"It's obviously been quite a tough winter, from a team point of view and personally as well," said Root after his first century.

"So to come back into the side and score a hundred meant a lot to me. The position I came in at was quite a tricky one, and it's very pleasing to go on and get us in a decent position by the end of play."

Sri Lanka survived an early scare when an lbw verdict in favour of Jimmy Anderson was overturned, and quickly raced to 35-0 at tea.