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The 2nd Test between India and England will also be Joe Root’s 50th Test Getty Images

Every generation witnesses a set of geniuses, who master the game and gradually evolve into a legend. England s spine Joe Root is certainly one of the whiz kids in contemporary cricket. Over the years, England have uncovered players, who have dominated the gentlemen s game. The likes of WG Grace, Wally Hammond, Len Hutton, Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, Kevin Pietersen, and Alastair Cook corroborate the belief. They have all written their name in cricket folklore with gold. Root undoubtedly has adhered to the notorious list, he is fittingly one of the Fab 4 among the current crop and to me, and he is the best Test player I have ever seen. With Root all set to achieve another milestone in Test chronicle; let s take a look his voyage. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England 2nd Test at Visakhapatnam

Most of the times, when England find themselves in hot water, it is Root who bails them out. What makes him so special? Root is indubitably one of most technically composed batsmen in contemporary cricket; well capable in tackling pace and spin regardless of the conditions. Root makes batting look easy and he does not have a short ball problem, which many in the lot do. He is crafty, possesses a rare ability to in piercing gaps when needed. Root s adaptability is akin to a duck to water, he thrives under pressure. His exquisite timing is a delight to watch along with lightening quick foot movement. Root demonstrates fabulous temperament under immense fire, putting a huge price on his wicket. And for any opposition his wicket is a scalped one.

Making his debut back in December 2012 at Nagpur, Root announced himself with a bang on a slow turning track. He scored an emphatic 70 in the first innings and continued his good run in the second with an unbeaten 20 to conclude a draw. Over the years, Root has established himself as one of the masters of the game and his second spot in the ICC Test rankings is a testament to it. Root is also ranked seventh in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and fourth in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). Being in top 10 across formats is not everyone s cup of tea; this speaks much about his versatility and impact in different situations.

Root has an outstanding average of just over 53 in whites along with 11 tons and 23 half-centuries. He hardly had any purple patch for a while in his career.

Overall Test figures

49 90 4231 53.55 11 23

What stands Root apart from his imminent peers is the fact that he has scored runs away from home as well. Very few manage to replicate similar magic with the bat or ball on foreign soil but Root has been effective overseas. He averages just over 46 in 21 Tests played away from home, which is a demonstration to his ability to succeed in away games. Looking at his numbers, one could not say that Root is a lion in his own den, quite often he has roared in others den and numbers do not lie. Though his numbers when compared to performance at home and away are contradicting but the discrepancy is nominal.

Root s record in away Tests

21 40 1630 46.57 3 11

Root s record in home Tests

28 50 2601 59.11 8 12

Batting in the subcontinent is considered to be one of the most difficult tasks off later but Root has silent his harshest critics with buoyancy. He played couple of good hand in Bangladesh and came out all guns in the first Test against India at Rajkot. Root s knock in the second Test at Mirpur was a pure exhibition for the budding talents to tackle spin efficiently. He scored 56 runs on a wicket which turned square and wickets stumbled like nine pins. Root garnered valuable 46 and ensured England remained alive in the fight. His decisive footwork against the spin was tempting and worked extremely hard to survive at the crease. Though England lost the game, but Root definitely played one of his best Test knocks.

Root s record in the subcontinent

7 14 606 50.50 1 5

Not just in whites, Root has been a force to reckon with in all other formats as well and his average of 45.71 and 37.50 in ODIs and T20Is respectively is a proof to it. Getting back to his run in Test format, Root started off well against India, but did not get doing in the series against New Zealand in their own backyard. He bounced back emphatically in when the same team toured Ole Blighty. Root recorded his maiden Test ton at Leeds in the second Test of the series and made his chances count as England won the game convincingly.

Root had a torrid time in 2013 Ashes, where his only moment of glory was 180-run knock at Lord s. Apart from this, he struggled to garner runs in other games and ended the series at 37.66, courtesy to the maverick knock at Lord s. His lean patch continued when England locked horns with Australia Down Under in a quest to retain the urn. In four games, which Root played, he averaged a paltry 27.42 with his only impressive knock being that of 87 at Adelaide. Root did not have a great run initially and averaged just over 36 in his first 15 games, which could be overlooked as he was trying to establish himself in the toughest format of the game. But he did not look back after that as his numbers almost doubled after playing his first 15 outings in whites.

Root in his first 15 games

15 29 955 36.73 2 4

Root since June 2014

34 61 3276 61.81 9 19

The massive difference is an authentication to the fact that his career graph is on a hike. He notched his first double ton against Sir Lanka at Lord s, which could have perhaps been the turning point in his career. Root does not have much technical deficiency as of now, and has worked on his game a lot. His maturity over the years has been alluring and is tipped to lead the side in the distant future. In 2015, he was the second highest run-scorer in whites just next to Australian skipper Steven Smith. His feat in the Rajkot Test could well be the warning bell for the Indian side as Root will undoubtedly hold the key for England s success. If England are eyeing to win the ongoing Test series against India, then Root will have to score a lot of runs. As of now all eyes are set at Visakhapatnam as Root is all set to play his 50th Test and one can expect him to make it a memorable one.

(Suraj Choudhari is a reporter with Criclife and CricketCountry. He is an avid follower of the game, and plays the sport at club level. He has a radical understanding about the subtle nuances and intricacies of cricket, and tries to express it through paper and pen.)