The England captain had reason for cheer at last with victory by an innings and 55 runs well inside three days of the second Test.
Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 80, his second successive Test half-century, helped England to 363 all out.
Then after James Anderson took two early wickets, Dom Bess and Stuart Broad added three more each – the latter answering his critics with match figures of six for 66 – as the tourists were bowled out for 134.
England rescued a 1-1 series draw by ending an alarming sequence of six defeats in eight Tests, which had put coach Trevor Bayliss under pressure.
While the Australian spoke in a broadcast interview of perhaps reminding England in future of “what it’s like to be embarrassed” when they lose, as they did so badly in the first Test at Lord’s, Root was wary of getting carried away with one overdue success.
“It’s very important we don’t paper over the cracks and think this is going to be us (sorted) forever,” he said.
“We have to make sure we don’t find ourselves in those positions like last week.
“I’m thrilled to bits. (But) we know we’re not the finished article – this is the first step towards our goal.”
England answered the rallying call issued by Root before his home Test.
“I asked the guys to play with pride … and you saw that on the field,” he said, acknowledging that pre-match criticism from pundits – Michael Vaughan’s for Broad was particularly high-profile – might have played its part too.
“I think an element of that comes out through criticism,” Root said.
“You want to prove people wrong, and you have to have that within you to play at this level.
“We had to show a lot of character. I asked a lot of things of them, and everything I asked was delivered.
“Ultimately, you can’t ask for more as a captain.”
For him personally, a year into his tenure, the win was needed urgently.
England emerged from their long, winless winter vowing to push themselves harder than ever in preparation for each Test.
It did not pay dividends at Lord’s – but after battling back to draw 1-1, Root said: “We’ve set our stall out for a long period of time where we want to get to, and we’ve decided we want to go about things differently in preparation.
“There are a lot of long-term things that are going to have to happen for us to get to where we want. We have to give that a chance to work.”
Buttler’s innings was a big help, vindication for his return at number seven – and leaving Root wanting more.
“It would have just been nice to be able to get another cup of coffee in and sit for another hour and watch,” he said.
“That’s why he’s in the side, to try to take games away from the opposition as he did.
“We all know how talented he is, what he’s capable of – so I hope this is something we’ll see a lot more frequently from him.”
Root’s opposite number Sarfraz Ahmed had to come to terms with falling well short of the standards Pakistan set in the first Test.
He said: “The way we played at Lord’s, everything was perfect – our fast bowling was perfect, our batting and fielding were perfect.
“It’s disappointing that we had a chance to win the series, but unfortunately we didn’t play well here. I am (still) proud of my young team.”
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8:00 pm – England seal comprehensive win
England defeated Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs in the Headingley Test to level the two-match series.
Stuart Broad and Dom Bess picked up three wickets each as Pakistan were bowled out for 134.
Earlier, Jos Buttler hit a quickfire 80 to help England score a commanding 363 in their first innings, which proved to be enough.
Read the full report here.
6:00 pm – Kohli urges fans to support Indian football
Cricket captain Virat Kohli asked fans to support Indian football after national captain Sunil Chhetri posted an emotional message on social media.
Less than 3000 people turned up to watch India’s match against Taiwan in the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai, prompting the plea for help from Chhetri.
Tennis star Sania Mirza and cricketers Suresh Raina and Krunal Pandya also gave their support to the Indian team. For more, click here.
4:10 pm – Wasim Akram turns 52
Arguably Pakistan‘s greatest-ever cricketer, Wasim Akram, is celebrating his 52nd birthday today.
The Sultan of Swing, Akram claimed 916 wickets during a 19-year international career.
Akram is currently in England as part of the Sky Sports broadcasting team and commentating on the second and final Test between England and Pakistan at Headingley.
2.15pm – Sam Curran is out as England lose their eighth wicket at Headingley
The debutant is out for 20, controversially caught by Asad Shafiq at third slip off Mohammad Abbas – but did the ball carry? The third umpire Paul Reiffel says it did and England are 321 for 8.
Conditions are overcast and the ball is moving around so scoring is tough. At the crease now are Joss Butler on 45 and Stuart Broad on 1. Follow it all live.
10:50 am – Jos Buttler looks to extend England’s lead and re-establish his Test career
England are nicely poised at 302 for 7 going into Day Three of the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley, already with a lead of 128 runs in the first innings with three wickets in hand.
At the crease are T20 star Jos Buttler, trying to re-establish himself in Test cricket, on 34, and Test debutant Sam Curran (brother of Tom) on 16. They have already shared a 17 run partnership (with Curran scoring 16) and with conditions cool and cloudy in Leeds they will be looking to push on to a lead of 200-250.
Another new boy in the squad, spinner Dom Bess, top scored to date with 49 – and both Buttler and Curran would like to better that mark.
Play resumes at 1.30pm today (UAE time) and we’ll have all the ball-by-ball coverage right here at Sport360 – so stay with us.
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have announced a new elite international T20 league which will be held in the UAE in December and January.
In partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the UAE-owned tournament, whose name will be unveiled in June, will be played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Five franchises will be vying for the inaugural title across 22 matches over 24 days.
The 16-man squads of each franchise will feature six international star players, two emerging cricketers from full member countries, three from Associate nations, two juniors and three UAE cricketers.
England & Wales, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, New Zealand and the West Indies have already shown their support with more full members expected to lend their assistance.
The event will be one of the ECB’s biggest on their busy calendar and Zayed Abbas, ECB board member and official spokesperson, is convinced it will only develop the game in the UAE.
“We are confident that this new event will play a big role in growing the game, inspiring, promoting and developing the sport in order to add to the already world-leading UAE cricketing and sporting landscape,” he said.
ECB CEO David East, added: “Our firm aim is for this event to take the sport to all corners of the UAE and to develop cricket at a grassroots level initially in – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. This will not be just another T20 tournament, it will be a true international festival of sport and the hottest cricket ticket in the UAE.”
For Dr Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the T20 League board of directors and ECB board member, he insists the new competition will create a unique platform for the development of the best young cricketers around the globe.
“Our intention is to build a new event that is here to stay, and one that occupies a niche position in the international cricket calendar. We are not looking to compete with other T20 leagues, we are looking to develop an international festival of cricket that exists first and foremost for the benefit of the players, and with a very specific goal of helping to develop new talent from around the world and grow the game in keeping with global best practices,” he said.
“Our players will be at the heart of the action, entertaining and playing the game to the limit, looking to make a name for themselves and a mark on the world of T20. The diversity of players that will compete in this new event will represent the great diversity of the UAE – players of all nationalities love playing and staying in the UAE, with a lifestyle beyond compare. This is a chance for them to come to a winter sports super hub and play seven-star cricket in a competition that will be world-class in its design, organisation, management, quality, sound practices, compliance with rules and regulations, profile, innovation and fan experience,” he added.