Joe Root © AFP
Joe Root scored a tremendous 83 against South Africa © AFP

Joe Root played one of the finest knocks of T20 World Cup history as he scored 83 off 44 balls to help England pull off the second-highest run-chase in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I’s) . England chased down 230 against a formidable South African bowling attack comprising Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Imran Tahir and Chris Morris. It was a match where bowlers were chewed up and spit out on a pitch tailor-made for batting. But someone needed to score the runs, and when the required run rate is 11 an over from the start, the pressure is hard to ignore. Full Cricket Scorecard: South Africa vs England, ICC World T20 2016, Match 18 at Mumbai

This was not the first time we have seen such a massive chase. It will probably not be the last. We have witnessed an Indian side chase down 360 runs with 9 wickets to spare in under 44 overs in an ODI against Australia. We also witnessed a record 434 chased down by South Africa against Australia in what was perhaps the greatest ODI match of all time. We have also seen Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, and Darren Sammy power West Indies to a 236-run chase against South Africa in a T20I. READ: Joe Root, Jason Roy mastermind record run-chase as England pip South Africa by 2 wickets in T20 World Cup 2016

What stood out about the run-chase for England was its protagonist. Joe Root has a Test average just shy of 55, an One-Day International (ODI) batting average of 44.34, and an Twenty20 International (T20I) average of 35.72, phenomenal numbers for someone who is just 25 years old.

By common consensus, Root is one of the four most promising batsmen in world cricket, the other three being Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, and Steven Smith. There is little doubt that Kohli is the best in limited overs cricket, and that Smith is the best in Test cricket. But while Kohli is not quite in the league of greats in Tests, Smith is yet to figure out his true ability in T20 cricket. Root and Williamson though, seem to be equally proficient at all three formats.

Root is perhaps the most classical of the four, but he showed against South Africa that he can also play the inventive shots. Root brought up his half century with a reverse scoop over third man for six of Chris Morris. It was a shot one would expect from the genius of AB de Villiers.

The manner in which Root went about his business was a treat to watch. The pitch was flat and therefore the bowling was hammered left and right, but the pressure of a huge target would have made lesser batsmen crack. Indeed, Root was the only English batsman to reach half century. This innings has ensured Root of his place in modern batting mastery. He does not have many peers in his class and this innings only furthered the gap.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he loves watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)