Joe Root's innings against Pakistan in the second Test has been termed as 'faultless' by Nasser Hussain    Getty Images
Joe Root’s innings against Pakistan in the second Test has been termed as ‘faultless’ by Nasser Hussain Getty Images

Joe Root, a player who looks at ease when he takes his stances, making the strokeplay sublimely effortless. It would be unfair if he is excluded by any cricket expert or a fanatic in the list of modern day’s prolific batsmen, consisting of Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith. If Kohli has taken his game to another level by maximising his strengths, Williamson likes to stick to the basics. On the other hand, Smith has a unique technique, but it all boils down to how much a batsman scores and he does it very frequently for Australia. However, England bank upon Root as their mainstay, someone who staggeringly performs even in the face of adversity. With their batting order demanding a few changes, they promoted him at No. 3 and soon he managed to justify the team’s decision with a timely double century in the second test versus Pakistan at Old Trafford. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Pakistan 2016, 1st Test at Lord’s

England won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan at Old Trafford, trailing behind 0-1 in the four-Test series. Alex Hales clearly had trouble facing a menacing spell of Mohammad Aamer. He even edged once, which eventually did not carry to the slips. A few balls later, Hales missed an in-swinger, which went on to dismantle his defence, giving Aamer his first scalp of the match. England were 25 for 1, and in came Root.

Root is a more of a backfoot-oriented player compared to the other modern greats. Kohli is another batsman who looks composed, but at the start of his innings especially when the ball is moving he struggles at times.

When Root hit the first boundary, it seemed he was in for a big innings.

Aamer tried setting him up just like he did with Hales, but Root’s technique is class-apart compared to Hales. He delivered almost a similar delivery, but Root stood back, waited for the ball to come onto the bat and pushed the ball down for a lovely straight drive.

Root has the knack of reading the deliveries well, resulting in an immaculate shot selection. He blocked everything that was pitched outside off stump, and played his strokes with ease and fluency when it bowled on his pads, thanks to his little yet imperious trigger movement. He does not try to overdo things, which is evident in Smith’s batting, but it is the same flamboyancy and uniqueness that fetches the Australian captain all the runs.

Let’s come back to England’s batting line-up conundrum. They have been consistently trying someone who can give valuable support to Alastair Cook in the opening position. It looks like Hales has sealed the spot for now with his stellar performance against Sri Lanka, though he still has a long way to go.

The No. 3 position opened up for debate with Gary Balance back into the Test side, and he looks out of touch at the moment, especially for this spot. Undoubtedly, England have faith in Root as their prominent batsman; and though he has batted at the No. 4 position for the better part of his career, he is accustomed to playing against the moving ball from the start. He may not adjust as well as Williamson does, but is the best bet for England when and if the first wicket falls early. ALSO READ: Nasser Hussain terms Joe Root’s innings against Pakistan ‘faultless’

Root has the ability to stay long at the crease, and he does not get bogged down by the slowness of format. He goes at a brisk rate and makes sure he pounces on the bad balls.

He played for 6 hours and 1 minute on the first day of the second Test and hardly lost concentration. The way he has resolved his side’s problem of finding a suitable No. 3 batsman is commendable, and should be highly credited. Sure, he needs to consistently perform, but undoubtedly, he is and should have been the man to bat at this coveted position. He has, for now, ended England’s search for an ideal No. 3 batsmen.

Root’s double hundred has set the tone for the hosts, giving them an opportunity to level the series.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)