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‘One in a million’ Joe Root set for century of Tests

5 February 2021 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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England skipper Joe Root goes into his 100th Test today seeking a repeat of how he started his illustrious career -- with a rare series win on Indian soil.


Root, 30, will lead England in the four Tests knowing that he needs a win to stand any chance of reaching the inaugural World Test Championship final in June.


Root made his debut in 2013 at Nagpur in the fourth match of a series won by England 2-1 under Alastair Cook, their last triumph in India.
His career has had its highs and lows but Root has established himself as one of the world’s top batsmen.


“I think walking out in an England shirt will probably be the proudest moment,” Root told reporters yesterday, on the eve of the opening Test in Chennai.
“I look back at walking up to bat and see Kevin Pietersen stood at the other end, someone whom I watched as a teenager and a kid growing up. I just couldn’t stop smiling. I was living my childhood dream.”


He added: “If I am ever going through a bit of lean spell or things aren’t quite falling for me then I try and look back at that moment and remember what that feeling was like.”
After his debut, Root was involved in a Birmingham pub brawl in 2013 when he was punched by Australia’s David Warner.
But he matured to become a batting mainstay and an impressive team leader.


Root failed to hit a century in 2020 but rebounded with innings of 228 and 186 in successive Tests in Sri Lanka last month.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain called Root a “one in a million” player who England should be proud of.


“It’s the fact that he does so much for English cricket, on and off the field,” Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail when England were in Sri Lanka.


“When he phoned that lone England fan, who had watched the first Test from the walls of the Galle Fort, at the end of the game, I just thought what an impressive guy he was.”
Root has said the Warner incident made him “reassess things” as he turned from team joker to a serious player who concentrates on scoring runs.


His match-winning scores in Sri Lanka, as England swept the series, took him to 8,249 runs including 19 hundreds, surpassing England greats Geoffrey Boycott (8,114), Pietersen (8,181) and David Gower (8,231). 


(Agencies)

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