It will always be a matter of debate about who’s the best batsman in the longest format of the game. The likes of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root are collectively called the ‘fab-4’ for their dominance in Test cricket in the present era. They have done wonders in this format and continue to do it further. But former BCCI selector Saba Karim feels that ex-England captain Joe Root is above others, especially after he steered his team to victory in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
Root played a match-winning knock on Sunday to help England end the drought of wins in the ongoing World Test Championships. He scored an unbeaten 115, handing a 5-wicket win to his team in the chase of 278. During his stupendous innings, he became only the second England batter after former captain Alastair Cook to cross the 10000-run mark in Test cricket.
In a conversation with India News, Karim was of the opinion that Root’s performance has put him ‘above everyone’ among the ‘Fab Four’.
“He has gone far ahead. If we see England’s batting, only Joe Root’s name is coming up again and again. It means Joe Root has not got support from the other end. If we talk about India, with Virat Kohli there is always support like KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Rishabh Pant among others. That is the situation in New Zealand and Australia too. Even in overseas conditions like in India or in Sri Lanka, Root has single-handedly won England matches,” Karim said
“Joe Root has left the other three batters far behind in the last two years. Whether we talk about consistency, technique or temperament, in all these aspects Joe Root is above everyone at the moment,” he added.
Root played a resilient knock in the fourth innings, stitching a 90-run stand with his successor Ben Stokes for the fifth wicket. After the England captain’s dismissal, he scored a hundred and sealed a great win for England.
Karim was left impressed with the way Root dealt with the situation and came up with a remarkable innings.
“It’s never easy to score a ton in the fourth innings. That too against such a team which has got a strong bowling attack. Trent boult, Kyle Jamieson, Colin de Grandhomme…New Zealand have so many good bowlers. If somebody is batting well in the fourth innings, it shows that the guy is strong both technically and mentally,” he said.