GEOFF Boycott says he is confident that Joe Root has a long Test career ahead of him.
The old master batsman, now Yorkshire president but out in India on radio commentary duty, glowed with pride and pleasure after Root made his Test debut yesterday and showed the right attributes in a difficult situation to end the day on 31 not out after nearly two hours at the crease.
“I’ve not doubts at all about this lad, he’s tailor-made to play Test cricket and I’m confident that he will go on and have a long Test career,” said Boycott. Kevin Pietersen, top scorer on the opening day of the Fourth and final Test in Nagpur with 73, also was full of praise for the young batsman from Sheffield who, having replaced Samit Patel, ground out a patient innings.
“Joe was brilliant,” said Pietersen. “He played some lovely shots, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. Never judge anybody after a couple of hours of batting for England but he’s shown signs of what could be a very good Test career.”
Root, coming in at 119-4 on a very slow pitch, shared an unbroken 60-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Matt Prior, 34no, as England reached stumps on 199-5.
After winning the toss for the first time, Alastair Cook then had a rare failure following on Nick Compton’s departure in the fifth over.
It required Jonathan Trott, 44, and Pietersen to prevent further problems with a stand of 86 but batting was a struggle on such a surface and against defensive fields.
Ian Bell flopped again and Pietersen’s departure after one of his most circumspect innings stretching across nearly three and a half-hours left England on 139-5 and in trouble.
But Root showed a sound temperament and with the experienced Prior continuing his successful tour, England were able to see out the day without further loss as they look to clinch the series.