Opportunity to take more responsibility at No.3 position: Root
Joe Root, the England captain, is set to elevate himself to the No.3 position in the batting order during the forthcoming Test series versus Pakistan and India, in order to take more responsibility and bring stability to a batting line-up that has struggled to notch up substantial scores in the recent past.
During England’s tours of Australia and New Zealand, they repeatedly struggled to get good starts from the top-order batsmen. It can be capsulised by the point that Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and James Vince combined to compile just one hundred between them over seven Tests in Australia and New Zealand. Vince has been subsequently dropped for the upcoming two-match Test series versus Pakistan. Trevor Bayliss, the England head coach, too, has indicated that the fulcrum of the batting line-up should bat at one drop in the order.
“I think it’s an opportunity for me to take on a bit more responsibility at the top of the order,” Root said. “I’ve had a year in the captaincy now and I feel I’ve gained enough experience to feel comfortable doing that,” he added.
Root has already played 17 Tests at the No.3 position, compiling 1275 runs at 43.96. However, he has averaged over 50 at the No.4 slot and his career average sits at an impressive 52.63. He also batted at the No.3 position in the Auckland Test versus New Zealand but that was seen more of a stop-gap option as England picked an extra bowler for the Test. Root also would hope to convert more of his fifties into hundreds. The seasoned campaigner has 39 fifties but just 13 centuries to his name in the longest format of the game.
“Ed’s very clear how he wants to go about things and we made sure we didn’t leave anything untalked about during that meeting. We left happy with the squad we had for this first Test. He spoke exceptionally well about how he wanted to do things moving forward so I’m very excited about that.
I did it [No. 3] for one game in New Zealand and it didn’t work out there but this is a great opportunity to do it at home and it’s a great opportunity moving forward so I’m really excited. Ultimately nothing will change about the way I go about my batting. I will look to have that hunger and desire to make really big runs. For me it was getting used to the role of captain and making sure I could separate the two and make sure my full focus was on my batting when it came around. I feel that I’m able to do that now and will go out to try to set the tone and score as many runs as I can from that position,” he noted