Joe Root has dispelled any doubts regarding his position in the ‘Fab Four’ alongside Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith by conjuring up three hundreds in consecutive Tests, reckons former England skipper Nasser Hussain. The England Test skipper has been in sparkling form this year after enduring a lean patch in 2020, where he failed to reach the hundred-run mark. After, scoring 228 and 186 in Sri Lanka last month, the 30-year-old struck a fine century in the series-opener against India, to make his 100th Test even more memorable.
“It’s fitting that Joe Root proved he’s a true great by scoring a hundred in his 100th Test,” Hussain wrote in his column for ‘Sky Sports’. “Some people were starting to doubt if he belongs to that group of Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith when he went through a lean patch last year – but don’t forget he was still averaging 40 in that period!” Hussain added.
Hussain said Root analysed his game during the coronavirus induced break last year and is now reaping the benefits. “During the long break enforced by lockdown and the pandemic he thought ‘how am I going to go back to being the Joe Root that I was?’ “He watched videos of various people and looked at his game and three hundreds in a row suggests he’s analysed his game pretty well!” Hussain said.
Former England batsman Ian Bell echoed Hussain views. “The four players that we talk about, the other three, they play at such a high level and are so consistent over a period of time. Joe himself said he didn’t score a century in 2020 which isn’t up to the standard or consistency he has played at over a period of time,” Bell told ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“What I do know is that in the break due to COVID he has worked extremely hard in the little technical areas and he has the hunger to get better,” he added. Bell, who has played 118 Tests, 161 ODIs and eight T20Is for England, said it is a career-defining year for Root both as captain and as a batsman.
“This is a big year for him, when you are touring Indian away and Ashes away, they are big big series and are career-defining. It has been a perfect start as a captain and also Joe Root the batsman.” Bell added that Root would have to play a key role for England to win the series against India and do well in the next few months. “And from an English point of view that’s what we need. If England have any chance of winning you need special things.We saw Alastair Cook do that in 2012 and Joe Root is that player now, if he has a special series then we don’t know what can happen. “It’s day one and England have got the best of conditions. If England want anything out of these 12-18 months then Root has to lead from the front which he is doing,”ell added.