'He is up there with the best': Laxman lavishes rich praise on England captain Joe Root after 'pure Test match hundred' | Cricket

Joe Root’s spectacular 180 not-out against India in the first innings of the Lord’s Test has gotten the cricket fraternity talking. In the ongoing second Test, the English skipper brought up his 22nd Test hundred to hand his team a slender lead. The latest to join the bandwagon is VVS Laxman. 

The former India batsman lavished rich praise on Root, saying that the right-hander is relishing the extra responsibility is getting the best out of him. 

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“Pure Test match hundred. We saw the same in Nottingham as well. I think he is relishing the fact that the responsibility lies on him, Joe Root the captain and Joe Root the batsman. I think that extra responsibility is getting the best out of him. Leading into this Test series, there was a lot of talk – can Joe Root be consistent? Can he convert those half-centuries into big centuries? There was lot of talk about the brittle English batting line-up,” Laxman told ESPNCricinfo. 

He added: “The best way to shut down criticism is by performing. And performing when it matters the most. That is exactly what Joe Root has done in Nottingham and today.”

Cricketer-turned-commentator Laxman also remarked that 30-year-old Root is right up there with world’s best.

“He is up there with the best. I always felt Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith and I will also include Babar Azam in it, these five players are fabulous batsmen at the highest level. The best thing about them is that they are absolute role models to youngsters and they take on the responsibility and the challenges that they confront.

“All players (except Smith) are captains of their respective teams. At the same time, they are the main batsmen. We know what kind of responsibility the main batsman has. It is never easy to fulfill such kind of expectations. All these five batsmen, whenever they get runs, they dictate terms,” Laxman added.

At stumps on Day 3, England were bowled out for 391, meaning that India will go into bat trailing by 27 runs. Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors, returning with figures of 4 for 94 in 30 overs. Ishant Sharma bagged three wickets, while Mohammed Shami picked two

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