India vs England: Joe Root continues to make a telling impact | Cricket News


Among batsmen who have had productive Test outings against India in the last 10 years, one name shines bright: Steve Smith of Australia. In 14 games, he has bossed India, averaging 72.58 with eight centuries and five fifty-plus scores. That tally includes a hundred on a minefield in Pune in 2017, a series in which he scored three hundreds.
The likeable Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, who started his illustrious career with a ton on debut at the Motera in 2010, is another such batsman. However, his returns are less impressive, averaging 39. Yet, he made the telling difference with the bat in that WTC final in Southampton on a tough pitch.
Joe Root, the England skipper, is now rapidly acquiring that dreaded tag of being an ‘India specialist’. In 22 Tests, Root has aggregated more than 2000 runs at an average of over 58.62 with seven hundreds, two of them in India. The 218 in Chennai earlier in the year was masterly for its poise and patience in hot and humid weather. The way he handled Ashwin was especially noteworthy.
Root was an opening batsman when he came to India with the England Lions outfit in 2012, as part of a series that England won 2-1. He was drafted into the middle-order of the Test side led by Alastair Cook for the fourth Test in Nagpur and immediately impressed with a half century.

Over the years, and especially after the retirement of Cook, he has embraced the challenge of being the main batsman in the team and is happy to have that target on his back. He often smiles when sledged and has not let the burden of captaincy affect him.
Saturday’s hundred, the 22nd of his career, was his 11th as England Test captain. There are critics in England who are not happy that Root is not keen to move one spot higher in a struggling batting lineup and wants to stay at No. 4, but that is where he has scored all the runs, especially this year.
Saturday’s hundred was his fifth this year and the third against India. He became just the seventh England player to score five-plus Test centuries in a calendar year after Denis Compton (1947), Dennis Amiss (1974), Michael Vaughan (2002), Kevin Pietersen (2008), Alastair Cook (2010) and Ian Bell (2011).


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