Joe Root needs to stand up for England in Tests

Saurabh Gandle Roar Guru

By Saurabh Gandle, Saurabh Gandle is a Roar Guru

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    Replacing Alastair Cook in 2017, Joe Root started his captaincy career with a bang, winning series against South Africa and West Indies.

    He then lost two series, against Australia and New Zealand.

    England’s batting order has been so poor that even Cook – England most prolific batsman – is no guarantee to feature in the team, while Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan are yet to establish themselves.

    No.1 spinner Moeen Ali is no longer in the 16-man squad for the next series, as the bowling lacked the penetration to take all 20 wickets in away series.

    So there’s a lot to get right to arrest this slide.

    The two positive changes in the line-up has been promoting Root to number three and Jonny Bairstow to No.5. England now need to promote Jos Buttler, a game changer who can turn the tide of game in an hour.

    But Root hasn’t kicked on after getting fifties. So far in his career, he has 39 half centuries to 13 centuries, a conversion rate of 25 per cent – fewest among his contemporaries Virat Kohli (57%), Kane Williamson (41%) and Steven Smith (49%).

    With Cook lacking form, the onus has been on Root to take up the challenge and score big, but despite seven half-centuries in Australia and New Zealand, he couldn’t record a ton – his highest score was 83 at MCG in a drawn Test.

    It’s been a consistent problem of late – it took Root 50 Test innings to score his seventh Test hundred, but his next six tons required 74 innings.

    Whether it’s a mental issue that has snowballed or the captaincy burden, Root needs to sort it out.

    Perhaps promoting himself to No.3 would signal to the opposition Root is ready to take the bull by the horns.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • May 24th 2018 @ 8:38am
      Paul said | May 24th 2018 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      I think you’re treating his Test ton stats in a bit of a cavalier fashion. He was taking around 7 innings per hundred and recently this has increased to about 10 innings per hundred. That’s still a very acceptable conversion rate and is up there with a lot of the old greats of the game. His perceived problem is getting starts so often and not going on, but is that problem? The good thing is, he’s not getting out cheaply and is making a significant contribution with the bat. I’d rather he gets 5 fifties in 5 innings than 1 hundred and 4 scores less than 10.

      Cook is a lock to play as they simply have no one else of Test quality to open the batting. What I can’t understand is why they need to have a specialist batsman coming in at 7 with their wicketkeeper batting 5? If the England top order collapses, which has happened regularly recently, then Bairstow might be out batting only an hour after keeping for 100 or more overs, while Butler has his feet up in the dressing room after only fielding? Makes no sense, but I guess the Poms know what they’re doing.

      • Roar Guru

        May 24th 2018 @ 10:01am
        JamesH said | May 24th 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        It will be interesting to see where Buttler bats. The highest it could be is 6, but it will probably 7 behind Stokes. They could solve the issue by giving him the gloves but I doubt Bairstow would see that as a good thing.

        I think this problem is a symptom of the fact England has a real dearth of top 4 order options at the moment and is filling the side with explosive, lower-middle-order batsmen.

    • May 24th 2018 @ 11:56am
      Tanmoy Kar said | May 24th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

      I think time has come for Cook to retire. He can assess his capability after playing 7 Test matches this Summer, 2 against Pakistan and 5 against India.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 25th 2018 @ 9:34am
        Tom VDS said | May 25th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        Played pretty well last night did Cook. Pakistan pitched it up and he looked pretty comfortable coming froward and driving on the front foot..

        Cook is still the rock that England need up the top of the order. With Root moving to 3, Stoneman and Malan still needing to establish themselves, plus Stokes and Buttler coming into the side, Cook is the one constant that can be relied upon

    • May 28th 2018 @ 6:01pm
      Tanmoy Kar said | May 28th 2018 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

      England lost the first Test to Pakistan in just over 3 days in Lords yesterday. Probably it was Root’s overconfidence or blunder that he has not chosen to field after winning the toss in a fairly green-top pitch. Except Cook (1st.Innings) and Root, Buttler (2nd.Innings) none of their batsmen could cope with the pace-attack of the Pakistanis. If England do not pull-up their socks now , they are going to loose the Series by 0-2 for sure.

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