COLOURFUL Yorkshireman Darren Gough has tipped Sheffield-born batsman Joe Root to reach the top.
Gough, England’s leading one-day wicket-taker with 235 to add to his 229 Test scalps, believes the promising youngster has the temperament and class to be capped by his country.
Since breaking into the first-team set-up, Root has batted at number three and opened in the County Championship. The former England under-19 right-hander caught the eye against Durham, hitting 45 and 38 runs in the Tykes’ home defeat.
Having been given the nod ahead of Joe Sayers at the top of the order, Root endured a miserable outing in the four-day meeting with reigning champions Nottinghamshire last month. The 20-year-old contributed just 14 runs and was dismissed for a first ball duck in the first innings as Yorkshire slipped to a second loss in three outings.
He claimed a wicket in the Clydesbale Bank 40 League clash with the Netherlands but his fortunes scarcely improved with the bat, making a mere five runs from 21 balls.
But former Barnsley fast-bowler Gough, a pundit on talkSPORT radio and a brand ambassador for Plusnet broadband, claims Root has a big future at Headingley.
He told The Star: “Joe is a fantastic young player. He has got a very good technique and has scored runs all the way through the youth system, in the academy side, second team and now first team.
“He is mentally quite strong and so he has all the attributes to be a top player.
“Joe could go on and play at the highest level and go on and play for England. There is no doubt about that.
“He is in the team now and he has got an opportunity to make the shirt his own. It is in his own hands.”
Because of his Sheffield connections, Root has been compared to former England and Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan.
On the link, Gough added: “From what I have seen of Joe, I don’t think he is a similar player to Michael (Vaughan) at all. He has to be his own player and play with his own technique.”
Root is expected to start in today’s County Championship showdown at Nottinghamshire whilst batsman Anthony McGrath is ruled out with a back injury.
Darren Gough is supporting the launch of Plusnet Fibre Optic Broadband. To find out more go to plus.net/fibre