While England were convincingly beaten in the opening two Test matches of the series, Root pulled out a captain’s performance on day three at the Daren Sammy Stadium to put the tourists in control of the third Test.
Root scored 111 not out to give England a lead of 448 but the 28-year-old’s heroics were perhaps overshadowed by an incident involving West Indies paceman Gabriel.
Tensions appeared to boil over as Root and Joe Denly frustrated the West Indian bowlers and a verbal exchange was picked up on television via the stump microphone.
‘Don’t use it as an insult – there’s nothing wrong with being gay,’ Root told Gabriel during the heated discussion.
The mics failed to pick up Gabriel’s initial comment which provoked Root’s reaction but umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena warned the West Indian for foul and abusive language.
Alan Conduct (@misterc88) February 11, 2019
However, no further action was taken and Root played down the significance of the incident once play had ceased.
‘Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field,’ the Yorkshireman said.
‘It’s Test cricket and he’s an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match.
‘He’s a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is.
‘The battle was a good contest, he’s had a wonderful series and he should be proud.’
West Indies’ interim coach, Richard Pybus, insisted he was unaware of the incident.
‘Nothing has been reported to me,’ he said.
‘But if a comment was made we’ll review it and if it was untoward then we will be addressing it.’
West Indies will need to complete a record fourth-innings run-chase to win the third Test or bat for the remainder of the match to salvage a draw.