London, Aug 25:
Former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie has heaped praised on Joe Root, comparing the England batsman to Australian great Ricky Ponting.
Root was the mainstay of the English middle-order during their 3-2 Ashes series win over Australia. The 24-year-old scored a couple of centuries during the series and briefly occupied the top spot in the ICC rankings — an effort which earned him the man of the series award.
Gillespie, who has worked with Root in county cricket in his capacity as Yorkshire coach, asserted that Root epitomises the newly found positive approach in the England team.
“Joe Root epitomises this positive approach and is one of the reasons why I believe the future looks bright. And just to stress this point again, being positive and aggressive is not about trying to smash every ball to the boundary; you can still show this intent when leaving,” Gillespie wrote in his column in the Guardian.
“Ricky Ponting was a player who did this. He would still make a pronounced movement when not offering a shot, meaning the ball went past on his terms. Leave with your feet stuck in cement and it betrays indecision, which the bowler will pick up on,” he added.
“Joe is cut from the same cloth as Ponting in that he makes good decisions and movements at the crease.”
Root has enjoyed a remarkable streak in Test cricket, beginning after his axing from the side for the final Test of the 2013-14 Ashes.
His first knock after being recalled was an unbeaten 200 at Lord’s against Sri Lanka in June 2014, which began a sequence of six hundreds and nine fifties in 17 Tests.
Gillespie, who has played 58 of his 71 Tests under Ponting’s captaincy, said that the rest of the England batsmen need to emulate Root’s approach at the crease.
“England’s batting is a concern for some but for me the talent is there, they just need to look at how Rooty has gone about his business as a how-to guide,” the 40-year-old wrote. (IANS)