IND vs ENG: Fitness, Technique Helps Joe Root Get Back Among 'Big Four' Batsmen
Joe Root's 128 not out on the first day of the first Test against India - his third ton in three matches - pushed not just his Test average beyond 50, like Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, and Kane Williamson, but also reopened the debate of who is the best among the 'Big Four' batsmen in world cricket.
Root, 30, who hit 228 and 186 in the two Tests in Sri Lanka prior to Friday's knock, had an ordinary last year in which he scored just four half-centuries in 13 Test innings. At the moment his average is 50.16.
Root, who had earlier said that Kohli, Smith, and Williamsonabove are above him, has come roaring back and is looking to regain his place among the 'Big Four'.
"I feel I am in good form. I feel I need to cash in on it. Over the course of my career, I have not always gone on and made big scores. For me to be going and doing that currently is very pleasing and the challenge of putting myself in the position of keep making hundreds which I have to keep taking," said Root after the first day's play.
The England skipper has credited his fitness and work on technique for improvement in his batting.
"I worked on a few technical things. Looked at a few areas of my game. Looked at certain trends of how I was getting out in certain times of the innings. Tried to improve things and evolve as a player. And at the minute, it seems to be working nicely and then the challenge is to get better every time," said the 30-year-old England captain after scoring his 20th hundred.
The Yorkshireman added that he has worked on fitness - strengthening his legs and back.
"I can assure you this isn't a plug but I invested in the peloton [online workout streaming platform] and been doing a lot of work on that. I have also been trying to follow the program that Phil Scott [England's strength and conditioning coach] puts us for us. Made my back a little bit more manageable. And also try and make my legs and backside a little bit stronger. So, a combination of those things has had an impact on my game. Also, I am improving my skill as a player," said Root.