Former West Indies captain Viv Richards praised England batsman Joe Root saying that he has the potential to be phenomenal some day. “I think Joe Root has done a magnificent job for a young man,” Richards told the website of the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB], ” said Richards. “If he continues he is going to be phenomenal because he is still very much a young man and he looks rather ‘gnashy’, but he looks like he has what it takes for you to compete at the top and certainly he has proved that to date,” he added. READ: Joe Root can become ‘phenomenal’, says Viv Richards

Richards even likened Root to Brian Close, who passed away recently. “I know he [Root] is a Yorkshireman,” Richards said.  “As a Yorkshireman he’s got this tenacious attitude. I played under a Yorkshireman as captain — we lost him just recently, the late Brian Close. He was one of the hardest men that I’ve ever met, in whatever walk of life,” he added.

“That nitty gritty type of stuff —[Geoffrey] Boycott, Sir Len Hutton—they have got some guys who have been pretty potent over the years. I guess Joe Root is from good stock,” said Richards. READ: Joe Root replaces Steven Smith as No. 1 Test batsman following fifties in 2nd Test vs Pakistan

Root is currently part of the England squad that is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) playing a Test series. The first Test at Abu Dhabi ended in a close draw, but the next match was won by Pakistan comprehensively. England will look to level the series in the third and final Test scheduled to be played at Sharjah on Sunday.

(With inputs from AFP)