Yorkshire’s 21-year-old opening batsman, Joe Root, above, came to England’s rescue after making a surprise Test debut against India in Nagpur today.
The Sheffield-born right-hander, batting in virtually a new role for him at No 6, scored a priceless 31 not out as he patiently helped England to recover from a shaky 119-4 to reach 199-5 by the close. Root, who replaced the axed Samit Patel and was chosen ahead of his Yorkshire teammate, Jonny Bairstow, and Eoin Morgan, stayed calm on a lifeless pitch. and struck only one boundary off the 110 deliveries he faced.
That came early in his innings when he quickly showed his international audience what a splendid technique he possesses as well as infinite patience. It is little wonder that he has already been compared to Geoff Boycott in his approach to the game.
Root, who will be 22 on December 30, scored a sparkling 166 for the England Performance XI in India a couple of weeks ago, and it was probably this innings which clinched him his place in the fourth and final Test with England leading the series 2-1.
Root has developed rapidly since making his Yorkshire First Class debut in 2010, and he has now played in 32 First Class matches for his county, scoring 1,721 runs at an average of 36.61 with three centuries – including a glorious unbeaten 222 against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl last summer.