Cricket: Joe Root reveals his motivation to score runs for England

Joe Root with the Ashes
Joe Root with the Ashes
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Sheffield's Joe Root is determined to start converting good scores into big hundreds to ensure he never again feels the pain of being dropped by England.

Root lost his place in the team after a run of poor scores during the 2013-14 Ashes tour of Australia and it has been a driving force for him since.

“I can’t remember what I did for the next hour,” he told the Telegraph's Michael Vaughan, recalling the moment captain Alastair Cook told him he would not play in the New Year Test.

“I was gone. I was an empty vessel for an hour. But then I was absolutely spewing.

“I was so angry and gutted because I had not scored runs, not because I thought I deserved to play. Then it hit me and I thought I might not play for England again.

“In my first Test back against Sri Lanka at Lord’s I sat there waiting to bat and all I could think about was reliving Cooky telling me I was not playing in Sydney. I was using it as an inner motivation. I did not want that happening again.

“As that innings progressed I thought, ‘I can’t stop. I have to keep going.’ I ended up getting 200. After that I thought, ‘Right, that is the motivation. Use it’. I’ve stopped thinking about it now. Maybe I should go back to it - it might help me get past 80.”

Indeed, Root’s average of 92.33 in the current series against Pakistan is more than his highest score, 88, having also made 85, 33 not out and 71.

“A lot of people say I’m one of the top three players in the world, but top-three players don’t get out between 70 and 80 eight or nine times in a year as I have,” he said.

“They get big hundreds.

“It is nice for people to say you are up there with AB (De Villiers), Steve Smith and (Virat) Kohli but the best players win Tests, and at the minute I am getting good scores but not going on.”

Root also revealed during a wide-ranging interview that he and Australia batsman David Warner buried the hatchet at the end of this summer’s Ashes following their well-publicised bust-up during the 2013 series in England.

“We had a drink at the end of the Ashes,” Root said.

“He came into our dressing room at the Oval and I said, ‘Do you want a drink, let’s go for a beer?’ He said, ‘I’m not drinking.’

“There were a few people there so I said, ‘Why, are you scared of punching someone?’ It broke the ice a bit. I would not say I am going to send him a Christmas card, but it was good to get it out of the way.”