Former England captain Alastair Cook has expressed his belief that Joe Root’s struggle in the ongoing Test series against India could be attributed to the influence of the aggressive Bazball approach. While acknowledging Root as England’s best-ever batsman, Cook suggested that the current cricketing era, characterized by a more attacking style of play, might impact Root’s usual balance of attack and defence.
“He is England’s best batsman there’s ever been in all formats – but he does struggle sometimes with the tempo of this Bazball era,” Alastair Cook remarked on TNT Sports.
Cook pointed out that Root, in an attempt to fit into England’s new brand of cricket, may sometimes deviate from his typical approach. The former captain highlighted the contrast in Root’s batting style, mentioning that while he normally strikes at a rate of 75 to 80 in Tests with minimal risk, there are instances where he tries to match the aggressive shots played by others in the team.
“He sees all these other people playing these aggressive shots, which suit their style. Rooty has got 11,500 Test runs, he’s brilliant, but he’s so desperate to fit in to what Ben (Stokes) and Brendon (McCullum) are doing that sometimes I don’t think he gets his balance of attack and defence right,” Alastair Cook explained.
In the second Test against India, Root struggled with scores of 5 and 16 in two innings as England suffered a defeat. Cook observed that Root appeared less in control and speculated that his attempt to score quickly and match the tempo with other players might have affected his usual composure at the crease.
“When he gets in, you call it early – I’ve called it early a few times on sub-continent days: he’s on 15 but he’s getting a hundred here. He’s going to milk them at his will, sweeps, all in control. I don’t think he was in that control,” Alastair Cook added.
Root will be keen to bounce back in the remaining matches of the series, addressing concerns raised about his form and approach in the evolving landscape of Test cricket.