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Joe Root 'Flatters to Deceive' At Sydney, An Art England Captain is Perfecting

Root as captain has been among runs, scoring at a average of 54.26, which is better than his average as a player 52.80. But his conversion rate from fifty to hundred as a captain is just 18.18, while as a player its 28.94.

Arnab Sen |January 4, 2018, 3:46 PM IST
Joe Root 'Flatters to Deceive' At Sydney, An Art England Captain is Perfecting

Joe Root has often been hailed as one of England's best ever batsman in Test cricket, with certain sections of the English media calling him the greatest ever. Root, without doubt, has been a phenomenal player for the Three Lions ever since making his debut in 2012. The 30-year old, who was appointed England's Test captain last year, is new to the pressures of leading a team and concentrating on his game and hence deserves a bit more time to adjust. But for a player being touted as one of the best of his era, being overshadowed by an adversary in the manner that he has been by Australian captain Steve Smith is worrisome.

The 'baby-faced assasin' though had a chance to make amends in the fifth and final Test at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground, when he came out to bat on the first day after the dismissal of James Vince. Root kept his end of the bargain as he batted with grit, gumption and his trademark finesse to all but make it a perfect day for England. But then came the second new ball and the English captain gave in to the temptation of playing a stroke he could have avoided.

Mitchell Starc came steaming in and fired it into the pads and the England captain flicked it straight into the hands of Mitchell Marsh at square leg. Root was distraught and the Aussies knew they had got a foot inside the door. Root departed for 83 and he was soon followed by Jonny Bairstow. Austrlia had once again come back from nowhere as England ended the day on 233/5.

This brings us to the discussion about how Joe Root has failed to convert promising starts into big knocks over the past year and a half. In 11 Test matches in 2017, Root scored only two centuries and had eight half-centuries to his name. Not just this, Root's inability to convert his starts into big knocks was one of the major reasons behind England's 0-4 loss to India in 2016.

Root as captain has been among runs, scoring at a average of 54.26, which is better than his average of 52.80 as a player. But his conversion rate from fifty to hundred as a captain is just 18.18, while as a player its 28.94.

root-conversion-rate

Not just this, Root is yet to score a century in Australia in 9 matches and that doesn't put him in good light when compared to Steve Smith, who, despite his unorthodox style, has managed to get runs in different conditions. Not just that, Smith has scored 23 centuries in his Test career so far, which is one more than the number of half-centuries under his belt. This clearly shows that the Australian captain has a very high conversion rate.

In a day and age when players likes Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson are making batting look ridiculously easy in all formats, England's 'little Joe' needs to dig his roots deep on the pitch and deliver some big knocks for his team to be counted as the first among equals.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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