Teams Played For
Yorkshire, England, England Cricket Board XI, Sydney Thunder
Joe Root is a modern legend without an iota of doubt and England is very lucky that they have found such a reliable top-order batsman who has the ability to score big. However, his inability to convert starts into big ones in Test cricket especially in the recent past has made life a little difficult for Root. However, he is still a part of the ‘Fab 4’ of the modern generation and is definitely one of the finest England batsmen to have graced the game.
Root hails from a strong cricketing background. While his father was the captain of Rotherham CC in the Yorkshire League for several years, his brother Billy Root is a regular in the Glamorgan set-up. Root was described as a prodigy and his skills were spotted at a young age. The modern great went onto make his debut for the Yorkshire second XI in July 2007 and made an immediate impression with a half-century.
The rise of Root has been pretty steady. After hogging the limelight with a sensational performance against the Bangladesh U 19, he was awarded a three-year contract with Yorkshire. Soon he went onto establish himself in the middle order and it was in 2011 that Root slammed a sensational double ton against Hampshire. Soon he was rewarded with a call up to the Test side during England’s historic tour of India in 2012.
The Sheffield-born batter left an impact in the first Test and scored a 289 minute 73 which proved his mettle and showed the world that the boy wonder was there to rule world cricket. England won the series 2-1 and it was a great learning curve for Root. He was impressive in the ODI’s as well and chipped in with some good knocks including a maiden ODI half-century.
Root was going to have a tough time in the Ashes 2013 and smashed a sensational 180 at Lord’s and made the world take notice of a legend in the making. It was strokeplay of the highest quality and Root slowly established himself in the middle order. He bagged a central contract with England following his impressive performances and also showcased a gritty performance during the 2013 Champions Trophy which England eventually lost to India in the final.
Root had a great time with the bat in the 2015 Ashes. The star batsman started off the series with a century at Cardiff and followed it up with a century at Nottinghamshire as England retained the Ashes after receiving a 5-0 drubbing the last time around. Root accumulated 460 runs in the series and was instrumental in England regaining the Ashes.
A year later Root went onto register his career-best Test score of 254 against Pakistan. He had already made a name for himself by then and kept on going from strength to strength. After making his debut in India in 2012, the year 2016 was the ideal opportunity for Root to realize his potential. He scored a brilliant century to start off the series but couldn’t quite convert his starts into a big one in the latter part of the series. However, he was by far the most productive English batsman during the tour.
Root slammed his fifth double-century in Test cricket in the recently concluded Test series against India in February 2021 and continued his golden patch from the Sri Lanka tour to dominate the Indian bowlers at a placid surface. By doing so, he became the first player in international cricket to slam a double ton on the 100th Test, breaking the previous record of 184 runs held by Inzamam-ul-Haq since 2005.
Besides being a sensational Test player, Root has also been a reliable batsman in the 50 overs format. Time and again he has bailed out England from precarious situations. He has been their mainstay in the middle order and played a pivotal part in the redemption of England post the 2015 World Cup debacle. The split captaincy hasn’t quite affected his camaraderie with the limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan. Root has also been dropped from the T20 side on a few occasions and given a huge pool of big hitters in England, he might not be a feasible option going forward in the shortest format but his services in Test cricket holds an enormous value in English history.
(As of July 2021)