posted on 2019-06-30 10:42:04
posted by Swetha Harini
Image credits: icc-cricket.com Getty images
After an impressive start to the World Cup campaign, England
finds itself in a spot of bother. The losses against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the reigning
world champions Australia have meant that the hosts need to register wins in
their last two marquee games, against the hitherto undefeated India and against
New Zealand to not depend on other results.
Although England boasts of an extremely strong and deep batting line-up, all eyes will be on that player who is presently the tournament’s fifth highest run-scorer – Joseph Edward Root.
In the 7 matches that he has played so far, Joe Root has recorded 432 runs at an average of 72.00. Currently ranked number 7 on the ICC ODI batting list, he is enjoying a splendid tournament having scored 3 half-centuries and 2 centuries already. That he is a part of the “fab four” and is rated on-par with Kohli, Smith, and Williamson connote his importance to the English.
Root’s performances against India, in particular, have been striking. Until the start of the world cup, he had scored 684 runs from the 15 innings that he has played against the men in blue. Those runs had come at a strike rate of 85.07 and at an average of 57.
One of the most competent batsmen of the current era, Root exhibited his precocious skills when India toured England in 2018. He was at his menacing best in the three ODIs as he scored 212 runs and ended the series as the leading run-scorer. His 113 off 116 balls in the 2nd ODI and the 100 off 120 balls in the third saw him becoming the man-of-the-series. What is even more noteworthy is that he remained not out on both occasions. Root will, therefore, be hoping that he is able to better these performances when his team faces India and in turn, help them snatch the two golden points.
In spite of being the fulcrum of the English batting line-up, Root has learnt to absorb pressure and does not let failures affect him. He seems to have the right temperament and exudes calm and confidence on the field. Additionally, being extremely proficient against spin, Root could play a major role for his team versus India. He has a variety of sweep shots in his repertoire and uses his feet to manoeuvre the depth of the crease. How he plays the strong Indian spinners will eventually determine the fortunes of his team. England will, thus, expect Root to pilot the batsmen against the Indian bowlers on Sunday.
In addition to his stellar batting exploits, Root’s bowling stints this world cup has earned him brownie points from the English team. The occasional off-spinner bowled an impressive spell against West-Indies at Southampton. Off his 5 overs, he picked up 2 vital wickets and helped his team restrict the men in maroon to 212. Although the English will be pinning their hopes on their lead bowlers to guide them to a win, they would like Root to contribute there too if need be.