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Updated - Oct 24, 2020 10:53 am
England Test captain Joe Root doesn’t reckon that his parallels can be drawn with the likes of India’s Virat Kohli, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Australia’s Steve Smith. Among the most consistent batters across formats, popularly known as the Fab Four, Root features.
However, he doesn’t miss out on taking a leaf out of the books of Kane, Kohli and Smith. Root didn’t back out from saying that the trio is among the greatest cricketers the world has been a witness to. Root put forth his opinions on The Analyst’s Virtual Cricket Club – an initiative set-up by Simon Hughes to support the Professional Cricketers’ Trust
“I try not to measure myself against other players. But I do watch a lot of how they go about constructing different types of innings across the three formats. You’re looking at three of the greatest players the game has seen. They’re three brilliant people to watch play and learn from. I’m not sure I’d put myself in their bracket, to be honest,” Root said.
Williamson is being deemed to possess one of the calmest heads, leading the Black Caps in all three formats. Root was awe of his technique to grind in pressure situations during a match.
“I look at how late Kane plays the ball, how still and correct he is. How, under pressure, he finds a way to trust his defence on any given surface. That’s a great quality to have.”
About Smith, Root stated that he’s not pretty on the eye by any stretch of the imagination. But he also mentioned that the former Australian skipper knows the art of making bowlers dances to his tunes with ‘some of his idiosyncrasies.’ Smith is currently the ICC’s number-one ranked Test batter.
“You look at Smith and at times he’s just awful to watch. It’s horrible on the eye. But you’d pay to have him in your team. He’s a fantastic run-scorer. The way he thinks about the game and manages passages of play is exceptional,” he quipped.
Virat, on the other hand, is the only cricketer, who has an average in excess of 50 in the three formats. The 31-year-old is currently the number-one ranked ODI batter and is the all-time highest run-scorer in T20Is. Root hailed Virat as a complete player and lauded him for his approach towards the game across formats.
“Virat is probably the most complete player out of the three of them across formats. His ability to chase things down in the limited-overs format and to pace it as well as he does as often as he does and be not out at the end is extraordinary,” Root added.