Sheffield’s Joe Root’s debut the stuff of dreams

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JOE Root, Sheffield cricket’s latest young starlet, admits his “dreams have come true” after he yesterday helped England to their first series win in India since 1985.

Yorkshire batsman Root, who learned his trade at Sheffield Collegiate CC, added to his first innings 73 with an unbeaten 20 as England secured the draw they needed to clinch a 2-1 series victory.

“It really is a cliché, but it doesn’t get any better than this,” Root told The Star from Nagpur.

“It’s a dream come true to play for England, and it’s something I’ve dreamt about for a very long time.”

Root, aged 21, will now return to England after he was omitted from the one-day party which will remain in India.

After getting the nod to make his Test debut at the expense of Samit Patel, Root was at the crease for almost five hours for his 73, from 229 balls.

A vital stand of 103 with wicketkeeper Matt Prior was vital as England defied the odds - and a difficult sub-continent wicket - to make history.

“I was delighted to get the opportunity to play,” Root added.

“I can’t tell you that I wasn’t nervous, as it was my first Test match, but the experienced guys around me helped me a lot and I’m really grateful for that.

“Then when I got out into the middle I was quite relaxed. I wasn’t really thinking about getting a century - I was thinking about the team’s position.

“But that’s the sort of thing you dream about as a kid, and I’m just more determined to go on and get a big score in the future.”

Joe’s father, Matt, who played for Collegiate with Michael Vaughan, returned from India after the Mumbai Test match but watched every ball of his son’s debut innings alongside his wife, Helen.

“We’re all very proud,” Matt said.