LONDON: Former England skipper Joe Root is being hailed as a "magician" after a video clip on social media, in which his bat is standing upright during the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord's, has gone viral.
Former England footballer and current sports broadcaster Gary Linekar, and noted journalist-writer Piers Morgan have been left wondering how a bat could stand upright unaided, with the former indicating that Root could conjure up magic while at the crease.
Root scored an unbeaten century when the chips were down as England went on to defeat World Test champions New Zealand by five wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
On one occasion during the match, TV footage showed Root's bat standing upright for several seconds on its own. Soon the clip went viral, leaving cricket fans baffled.
After the clip was shared on Twitter by the BBC's Test Match Special account with the caption "Anyone know how he (Root) did this?!", Lineker, the BBC Match of the Day presenter, replied, "He's a magician".
TV personality Piers Morgan tweeted, "Yes. He's a magician with the bat. @root66."
Another fan tweeted, "It's Thor's hammer in disguise!"
"I saw this at the time and thought I was still hungover from the night before, so thought nothing of it," wrote another.
However, later it was revealed that Root's bat simply had a flat base instead of being slightly curved, allowing the prolific run-getter to leave it standing up on its own.