When one of the rising greats of the modern day in Babar Azam made his debut in 2016, he made the world to take notice of him with some astounding knocks mixed with eye-catching strokeplay and started taking the center stage and soon became one of the talking points of world cricket.
Many experts and fans have started to include Babar Azam in the same line as Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith and Joe Root. The trend continued and Babar Azam made progress each single day and gradually, people started discarding Joe Root from that list but they didn’t know what they were onto.
Joe Root has played 100 test matches for England and he is only 30 years old. Although, the volume of games that England play when compared to other teams contribute to it, it’s the consistency which he has managed to maintain throughout his career make him a special player.
He endured an ordinary phase from 2018 to 2020 where he averaged just over 37 after having played 60 innings for 2263 runs. In the same time period, Virat Kohli averaged just under 50 for 2031 runs in 41 innings, Kane Williamson averaged 55 for 1663 runs in 30 innings, Steve Smith averaged 50 in 25 innings for 1263 runs and the latest addition to the modern superstars list in Babar Azam averaged 50 in 31 innings for 1570 runs.
The emergence of Babar Azam and the dip in Joe Root’s numbers and the other superstars in the list maintaining their standard in that period has led to people discarding Joe Root from the elite list. One may argue that Joe Root has the most difficult conditions to bat when it comes to the home wickets but Steve Smith’s insane Ashes meant that people started evaluating both the batsmen on the same grounds which meant Joe Root’s reputation took a beating there as well.
But as the popular saying goes, “form is temporary and class is permanent,” Joe Root is probably one of the best- if not the best batsman- in the aforementioned list where it comes to tackling spin bowling.
He had a golden opportunity to make things right and prove people wrong with 2 back to back series against Sri Lanka and India where the wicket would suit him to precision. And he decided to make a mockery of those people who wrote him off and aggregated a whopping 426 runs including a 200 and a 186 in 4 innings against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka to start the year 2021 in a dream fashion.
Joe Root didn’t stop there as he has started the Indian series in a grand manner with yet another 200 which takes his tally to 644 runs in just 5 innings in 2021 thus far. His scores being 228, 1, 186, 11 and 218. And the most significant part is that all these knocks have come away from home, which should ideally be alien conditions to Joe Root but the master batsman has proved why he is the one of the best players of spin bowling.
And not just that: he’s lead the way in handling the tough sub-continental conditions. This is as good a start one could hope for to a new year. Joe Root has already shut his critics fair and square. He would love to continue this dream start and make it a memorable year.
At the moment, all one can say is the opposition teams should be worried about this man whenever they are up against him as he has peaked at the right time.