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Joe Root: The fulcrum of England's batting puzzle in limited-overs format

615   //    22 Jul 2018, 11:59 IST

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Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and................ Joe Root - the current crop of prolific finds for their own sides in the past decade. Among these titans, Steve Smith currently being taken out of the equation, Joe Root's place in the limited overs side comes under mild scrutiny. Joe Root, since coming into the international arena has proved himself to be a man of great stature and a player of great temperament. Since the World Cup 2015, the current England squad has drastically revolutionized the way their predecessors have been playing limited overs cricket.

Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan and Jos Butler have formed the nucleus of a power-packed England's limited overs side. This also means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for England to identify the role of Joe Root in it.

Whilst Joe Root has proved his mettle in Twenty20 cricket by playing some impressive knocks. More evidently, when he anchored the innings by scoring 83 against South Africa in Twenty20 World Cup 2016 while chasing a daunting 230. Joe Root steers the ship like any other batsmen in the England line-up, the majority of who are hard hitters. Root is one of their best contenders to tackle spin in sub-continental conditions. His off-spin can be very handy at times, as seen recently in the one-day series against Australia. So what is it that comes into check about Joe Root's spot?

The presence of too many hard hitters, slogging batsmen and bowling all-rounders namely Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, David Willey and Liam Plunkett. Taking into consideration the giant strides England have made since the 2015 World Cup debacle, it is also important for the management to keep in mind that a player like Joe Root is decisive leading to the World Cup. He has shown the value of including a batsman who could rebuild the innings and retain the composure instead of playing slam-bang cricket every time.

His average in both T20 internationals and ODIs speaks highly of himself. An average of nearly 52 in One day cricket and a decent average of 36 in Twenty20 cricket. A striking fact being, Joe Root boasts an average of 52.22 in one-days overseas with 7 centuries and 13 overall. 2017 was the most successful year in One-day cricket for him with 983 runs at a staggering average of 70.21.

England had to take the hard call of dropping Joe Root for the returning Ben Stokes in the 3rd T20 international against India on July 8th, 2018. England ended up losing the match and the series because of lacking the required pyrotechnics in the final overs. The recently concluded ODI series against India has solidified Joe Root's place in the one-day lineup. Kuldeep Yadav, taking six wickets had created the demons among the batsmen in the first match. In the 2nd one day, Kuldeep Yadav yet again made inroads after an explosive start by sending the openers back to the pavilion.

Joe Root was one of the batsmen to triumph over Kuldeep Yadav's wrist spin along with Eoin Morgan. With David Willey's fireworks in death overs and Joe Root remaining not out on 113, England finished with a match-winning total. Joe Root was awarded the Man of the series for the successive centuries that he scored. Joe Root scored yet another century in the 3rd one day in a tricky chase to seal the series for England.

With this important series win, Joe Root has proved that there is no need to change his game plan and the pleasing aspect with which he assembles his innings. With the World cup lingering around the corner, England looks the most settled side of the lot and have what it takes to march all the way to their first ever.

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